THOUSANDS of people are expected to descend to Hamble as a popular food festival is set to return.

The Festival of Food in Hamble takes place on September 2, bringing local producers, growers and artisans together in a bid to tempt residents with all sorts of food produced in the Hamble Valley.

Items on offer will include vegetables, free range lamb, beef and pork, honey, cheeses, sausages, bacon, fish, jams and chutneys.

The event, which celebrates its third anniversary this year, is organised by The Marketing Collective Ltd, which manages the Hamble Valley destination brand.

Its aim is to promote the best in local food and drink suppliers, restaurants, pubs and food shops, and offer a family fun-filled day of tasty events.

Jo Andrews, managing director of The Marketing Collective Ltd, said: “We are delighted that the Hamble Valley Festival of Food is being so well received and enjoyed by many.

“This is the third event we have organised to help put Hamble village and the wider area back on the map as a place to visit and enjoy.”

This year’s festival has a maritime and nautical theme to celebrate the river Hamble and its maritime heritage.

Throughout the day attendees will also have the chance to enjoy a host of fun activities including a Punch and Judy, a dog show, a walk around the village of Hamble with the Hamble Valley Heritage Guides and mermaid, pirate and boat themed crafts.

Residents are also invited to come along dressed in homemade Jane Austen or nautical costumes for a parade aimed at celebrating the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen.

The Mayor of Eastleigh, Cllr Maureen Sollitt, will judge the parade at 1.30pm at Hamble Lifeboat Station.

The event will take place at Hamble quay from 10am to 4pm.