Music, food and fun at BunkFest

First published in Wallingford The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

THOUSANDS of BunkFest fans enjoyed a stroll in the sunshine at Wallingford’s most popular annual festival.

Now in its 11th year, the festival of music, dance, steam and beer got lucky with the weather and the Kinecroft was packed with people enjoying performances by Morris dancers and bands while visiting food, jewellery and craft stalls.

Staff at The Coach and Horses pub on Kinecroft and in the festival beer tent were kept busy at the weekend as an estimated 20,000 people joined in the fun.

Organisers believe there could be a £1m boost for shops, hoteliers and other businesses.

As well as live performances at venues across the town, the Market Place was closed to traffic on Saturday for a community street fair.

Festival spokesman Dave Newson said: “This has to be one of the busiest BunkFests ever – the Kinecroft was absolutely packed with people enjoying the sunshine.”

Oysterband headlined on Saturday while Warsaw Village Band closed the festival yesterday.

Among those enjoying the sunshine was Kirsty Ouellette, 35 from Benson, who works as a teaching assistant at Manor Primary School in Didcot.

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“The relaxed atmosphere is wonderful and there’s something here for all ages,” she said.

Kelly Sanders, 29, and Diane Sprague, 44, both from Didcot, performed with belly dancing group Rose Hips.

Ms Sanders said: “It’s a great atmosphere and this is our third BunkFest. We get to see lots of different styles of dancing.”

Jackie Lawrence, 36, from Didcot, helped to run a stall for the Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary at Brightwell-cum-Sotwell.

She said: “We’ve got about 90 donkeys at the sanctuary and they are expensive to keep. We can make about £300 a day selling items and taking donations.”

Dawn Hodge, 40, brought her daughters Isabella, nine, and Genevieve, three, to the festival from Laleham, Middlesex. She said: “We stumbled across BunkFest about five years ago and have been coming back every year since. The kids love it.”

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