LIVE music, cooking demonstrations and local food vendors are just some of the things kicking off the Highcliffe Food and Arts Festival 2024.

The annual event has become a favourite for locals and will be returning to Highcliffe high street on Lymington Road and the recreation ground on June 8 and 9.

Visitors can enjoy over 90 hand-picked food and drink stalls, cookery demos by top chefs, two stages of live music, free kids’ entertainment and 60 stalls of local arts by the Little Craft Shack.

The ‘local legends food theatre’, sponsored by Portman Stone, will welcome some new faces along with old friends including Lesley Waters, Sue Quinn, James Golding, Alex Aitken and Bradley Green.

Award-winning authors and experts will be covering a wide range of foodie subjects while four local cookery schools showcase their skills.

The chefs will be revealing their secrets of the kitchen along with the latest menus, providing knowledge to novice cooks or avid bakers.

The festival will host a wide range of activities for kids including a children’s activity tent and ‘grow your own’.

Most activities are free of charge but sessions in the kids kitchen can be pre-booked for stylish biscuit icing and crafting sessions.

The kids zone on the recreation ground will also have a book reading by Julie Ratcliffe, a local author of the popular Smuggling series.

As well as dancing sessions by Mad4Dance and crafting workshops.

Two stages will be packed with both professional and local musical societies who will be providing the tunes.

Expected acts will be the Swing Unlimited Big Band, Sarah Bolter and Not Just Sax, The Fifinellas, Celtic Confusion, Susie Kimber and more.

Morebus will also be providing extra buses on the X1 route on the Sunday as well as their normal timetable on the Saturday.

More information can be found on the Highcliffe Food and Arts Festival website or Facebook page.