GALLERY: Chilli Fiesta at West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens’ Chilli Fiesta attracted around 25,000 visitors over the three days for the second year running.

One of the UK’s largest and most popular chilli events, the fiesta ran from Friday to Sunday.

In festival mood, from left, Martin Childs, Graham Nye and Frank Lampard. Pictures: Derek Martin DM16133089a

In festival mood, from left, Martin Childs, Graham Nye and Frank Lampard. Pictures: Derek Martin DM16133089a

Festivalgoers and budding gardeners were part of the live studio audience for a special Chilli Fiesta recording of BBC Radio Four Gardener’s Question Time.

Presenter Peter Gibbs was joined by the panel, Bob Flowerdew, Bunny Guinness and Matthew Wilson, and the programme will be broadcast on Friday at 3pm Friday and Sunday at 2pm.

Irene Caswell, senior media officer, said: “New this year, the Airstream Bar provided a relaxing and peaceful setting beside the beautiful Edwardian pergola.

“Groupo Lokito had everyone dancing on Saturday night and Viva Santana on Sunday. Chichester duo Steel Strum entertained the audience with sets on all three days.

“There were more than 3,000 views of the short video live from the event between Saturday evening and Sunday.”

The family-friendly festival has a real party atmosphere, with food demonstrations, a vintage fun fair and more than 180 stalls.

The grow your own chilli competition proved popular. First prize in the Thompson and Morgan Demon Red Chilli category went to Robert Hanger, with Chloe Aywaz in second place. Winner in the other varieties category was Dave Clifton from the Chill Club.

Comments received by West Dean included ‘first visit, loved it’ from Carol Lewis and ‘another great day’ from Mark Golden.

West Dean is offering a 33 per cent discount on tickets for next year’s event, August 11 to 13, 2017.

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