THOUSANDS of hungry food lovers arrived in rainy Accrington as the town's food festival opened its doors.

A record-breaking crowd of 14,000 people is said to have descended on the East Lancashire town for a celebration of food and drink.

The 22nd annual festival boasted over 70 stalls, along with a war reenactment in St’ James Church grounds and cookery demonstrations.

A whole host of mouth-watering food on offer drew crowds of people all wanting to taste the best of East Lancashire and beyond.

The town square was bustling with festival-goers wanting to view the Second World War fighter plane Messerschmitt ME 109/Bf 109 which was on display - all in honour of what will be the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The festival also coincided with the Amazing Accrington Beer Festival, which was hosted in the Town Hall from Friday, May 31 to Sunday, June 2. 

And the rain failed to dampen spirits, with director of the food festival Zahida Shamim, hailing it a success.

She said: "It's been fantastic and has brought different parts of the community together.

"We're expecting more than 14,000 people and to beat last year's event."

Celebrity chef Richard Fox gave live cooking demonstrations during the day.

He said: "It's been fabulous and there's a real passion on the part of the organisers.

"That translates down to people who come here and the stall holders, and the atmosphere is great."

Tim Procter, 50, owner of Kick Ass Cheese from Chipping, said the festival was great.

He said: "It's been well organised and has been a great day out."

Tamela Rayner, 39, who come to the festival with husband Colin Rayner and their five-year-old son Saul, added: "It's been really good and brings people into the town."