Our own Oktoberfest! Punters drink beer tent dry as Letchworth Beer & World Food Festival is a smash hit

PUBLISHED: 15:58 17 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:33 17 October 2016

Euan Graham and Laura Kemps enjoy their beers.

Euan Graham and Laura Kemps enjoy their beers.


Crowds of thousands packed the centre of Letchworth over the weekend for the town’s first Beer & World Food Festival – and got so into the Oktoberfest spirit that they drank the Leys Square beer tent dry on Saturday.

Some of the crowds in Leys Square.Some of the crowds in Leys Square.

Leys Avenue and Eastcheap were buzzing as more than 100 stalls pitched up, offering food and drink specialties from all corners of the world – and Letchworth BID manager Tom Hardy guessed that as many as 8,000 or 9,000 people may have visited on Saturday alone.

“We had lines and lines of people drinking, eating and laughing,” said Tom.

“It was just an amazing community atmosphere.

Darren Ling and Lee Geer enjoy drinking beer.Darren Ling and Lee Geer enjoy drinking beer.

“Leys Square was the highlight of the weekend for me. On Saturday they actually ran out of beer!

“That was at about 5.30pm, so just half an hour or so before closing time. On Sunday we were OK.”

The brews on offer during the weekend included two ales from the Garden City Brewery in The Wynd, which also held its own Oktoberfest over the two days.

There was apple pressing and a shisha tent in The Wynd, and an oxygen bar in The Arcade – a first for the garden city.

And the weather held off for most of the weekend, with glorious sunshine coming out right on cue for the 12 noon start yesterday – prompting Tom to joke ‘We’ve turned the rain off’.

Asked if the event would return in 2017, Tom said: “Definitely. We’re looking forward to next year already, and we’re open to feedback and suggestions from the public as well.

Five-year-olds Nancy and Elsie Lyden-Davies enjoy their day out.Five-year-olds Nancy and Elsie Lyden-Davies enjoy their day out.

“I quite like the idea of seeing a bit of lederhosen and dirndls in Letchworth.”

For more about future BID events see loveletchworth.com.

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