THOUSANDS have descended on Winchester for the annual Chilli and Cheese Festival.

Taking place from Saturday, June 1 to Sunday, June 2, the festival is at the North Walls Recreation Ground.

The family-friendly festival, which is the only UK festival that celebrates chilli and cheese, featured a huge range of stalls and attractions for attendees to enjoy, with fairground rides for children, musical performances and cookery demonstrations.

@hampshire_chronicle We went to this year's Cheese and Chilli Festival in Winchester! Did you visit? Let us know! . . . #hampshirechronicle #hampshire #winchester #cheese #chilli #festival #fyp #cheeseandchilli ♬ Chilli - 77:78

Event organiser Simon Stewart said that the festival had grown larger since last year, with more attractions for people to enjoy.

READ MORE: 'I'm burning inside!' Chilli eating contest tops bill of first day at cheese festival

He told the Chronicle: “The space is the same, but we have more traders, more entertainment. We want to keep developing the show every year, so we try and have different layouts, entertainment and offerings for the customers and the feedback we get is very positive, so we are very grateful for that.

Hampshire Chronicle: Simon Stewart, event organiserSimon Stewart, event organiser (Image: Chris Atkinson)

“It’s early in the weekend but we are still hoping for a great turnout. It’s been great so far and we’re looking forward to the rest.

“We’ve got new vendors with us, new Cheese and Chili products that we haven’t hade before, which is fantastic.

“In terms of entertainment, we have wrestling this year which is a great highlight and something different. We have Masterchef winner Mat Follas with us this weekend – he has a product line which is with us too and he’s gone some demonstrations with us. So, lots of different things.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Customers waiting to get into the festivalCustomers waiting to get into the festival (Image: Chris Atkinson)

Simon concluded: “We’re always grateful for the support that we get. It is a local event for local people and we’re very grateful that the community supports it. We keep the prices as low as we can to attract local families, and we’re grateful they support us.”

The festival has attracted people from around the Winchester district and beyond.

SEE ALSO: New project launched to tackle violence against women and girls in Winchester

Friends Carol Petty, Tish Lettes and Kay Daubney came from the Old Alresford area to attend the event, saying they have attended every year it has been running.

Hampshire Chronicle: L-R: Carol Petty, Tish Lettes and Kay Daubney said they have attended every Cheese and Chilli Festival in WinchesterL-R: Carol Petty, Tish Lettes and Kay Daubney said they have attended every Cheese and Chilli Festival in Winchester (Image: Chris Atkinson)

Carol said that the three of them were not impressed with all of the layout changes, saying: “We are a bit disappointed that the music stage is now by the main entrance and not at the far end of the field – it means you can’t here the music from the stalls.

“Aside from that we really like it. We come every year and we always look forwards to it. The traders are always lovely and we always spend a fortune!”

The Cheese and Chilli Festival 2024 will conclude in Winchester on Sunday, June 2.