Hot competition at a food fair finale rounded off the fourth Melksham Food Festival.

The event’s last course drew a large crowd to the grounds of Melksham House, Melksham Market Place and Melksham Assembly Hall.

And a debut attraction – a chilli pepper eating contest – proved particularly popular with visitors.

Food festival committee chairman Cllr Pam Wiltshire said: “It’s gone really well. The chilli eating contest went extremely well. It was good fun, attracted people and was a real success.”

Live music, cocktail making classes, a waiters’ race, produce stalls and cookery demonstrations were among attractions throughout Sunday afternoon.

Cllr Wiltshire said: “The comments coming back have been very positive. It had a community feel and it was an excellent day, although it could have been slightly warmer. The demonstrations went well. We had 35 people taking part in the hands-on breadmaking, aged from five years old to 70 years old.

“It was good to have the Sultan [Indian restaurant] there and [chef and face of the festival] Jonathan Furby did such a good job.

“The feedback we’ve been getting is that it had the feel of an English summer fete, which is what we wanted it to be; a community festival.
“We had an excellent turn out, more than last year, and a huge variety of people.”

Summing up the festival, which began on September 7, she added: “A lot of people have come into the town, which is part of what it’s all about; to say, ‘This is Melksham, this is what we can do’.

“It’s a lot of work, but I think it’s worth it. I really have to thank all the community for their support, the staff at the town hall, the people who came along and helped out and everyone who participated.

“I also have to thank Sainsbury’s, who have been so supportive, and all our sponsors.”