THIS year's Clitheroe Food Festival was judged the 'best ever' by visitors who thronged the market town's highways and byways packed with tasty treats.

As the Red Arrows RAF display team roared over Castle Street, everything in from ice cream, sea food, and hog roasts to herbs and pickles were available to sample and buy.

Cowman's famous sausage shop was doing a good trade and the Clitheroe Lions stall opposite was doling out fizz and strawberries to thirsty and grateful customers in the summer sun.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans estimated the crowds of food fans in the town at 'well over10,000'.

John Burke, 63, from Rimington was impressed as the Red Arrows flew just above the roof line in a brief but loud roar.

The food festival regular said: "That was pretty good and they do fly low."

Village friend Susan Browne said: "I think this is the best-ever, especially with the sun coming out."

In the market area, Mellor singing teacher Faye Bailey was trying out the chutneys and pickles from the FatJax's stall.

The 35-year-old said: "I come every year.

"It is absolutely brilliant and just gets better and better."

Owner Paul Ainscough, 62, said: "I've been coming for five years. It's a great event and I think this is the best one I've been too."

Bothers Richard and Joshua Martin from Great Harwood were tucking into a hog roast and sausage baguette respectively from the Bowland butchers tent.

Richard, 27, in his third year at the festival, said: "I love it here. This is the best one yet."

Joshua, 21, said: "It's great food and great fun."

Mr Evans added: "It was choc-a-bloc, probably the biggest and best ever and topped by the Red Arrows flying over Clitheroe.

"I would reckon over the day there were well-over 10,000 smiling faces."