Up to 10,000 eat up Magellan Street at inaugural festival

LOCALS embraced Lismore's inaugural Eat the Street festival on Saturday like it was a calendar fixture, with up to 10,000 visitors to the global foodie-orientated street party.

And there was no shortage of satisfied tummies and tastebuds thanks to the plethora of food and beverages on offer.

As well as street food offerings from Tokyo to Persia, South America, and Rome, visitors had the chance to see cooking classes with celebrity chefs, live music, and a kids' area featuring the globe-trotting Pitts Family Circus.

The venue of the debut festival, the iconic Magellan Street, lived up to its potential as the beating heart of the city's burgeoning culinary scene with the usual twist of the unexpected from out of leftfield.

The idea of the event was for restaurants from across the region to showcase a street food-style sample of their cooking, with $5 and $10 plates on offer.

Narelle Birnie, from Lennox Head, came across the festival unexpectedly with her family, including children Angus, 6, and Mary-Jane, 5.

It didn't take them long to start eating.

"We actually came to the (Lismore Regional) gallery to see the Archibalds," she said.

"We literally stumbled upon the festival … now we're going to stay all day.

"We were actually starving when we got here, so we're very happy."

Stallholders were ecstatic about the numbers of visitors, many running out of produce unexpectedly and having to make a last-minute call for back-up supplies.

Stone and Wood brewing company's "Bonnie the caravan" frequently boasted a 50-strong queue since it opened its doors at noon.

Non-alcoholic brewer Poetic Brewing Company sold out of their ciders and ginger beers, with owner Ben Fitzgibbon calling for a top-up midway through the day.

Michael Dlask, from Billinudgel smallgoods producer Salumi, said it was a fantastic event.

"Just look around. People want it, they absolutely love it," he said.

"We couldn't be happier to be involved in something like this. I'm a firm believer this kind of thing should be done somewhere in the region every second week."

Co-organiser of the event, Lismore city centre manager Jason Mumford, was overwhelmed by the numbers.

"It's been constant the whole time; there's no doubt now this will now become a regular event," he said.



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