With the big day looming on May 19, organisers of the 20th Alresford Watercress Festival are putting the final touches to their arrangements.

The event celebrates the official start of the UK season for growing watercress, a superfood crop that has been vital to the local economy for centuries. 

Visitors can catch a freshly harvested bag of watercress from the newly crowned Watercress King and Queen, watch Tom Hamblet - 2023 winner of MasterChef: The Professionals - and other popular chefs demonstrate just how versatile watercress is in cooking, or try to set a Guinness World Record by winning the World Watercress Eating Championship title, currently held by Alresford’s Glenn Walsh.

There will be live music plus hundreds of craft, drink and food stalls to sample, including the latest winner of Aldi’s The Next Best Thing award, The Fabulous Catch with their Crabulous Crabcakes.

The new Eco Area will be packed with eco traders including a refill operator, recycled jewellery, bags, vegetable boxes and a vegan caterer.

In Meet the Producers at the Cookery Theatre, representatives from Chalk Stream Trout, Two & One Virgin Olive Oils, HoneyBee Honey and Hampshire Vegetable Boxes will talk about how they set up their businesses and what makes them different to the competition.

The KidsZone will have miniature ponies to pet, Spider Mountain to scale and slides to slide down, circus skills from Juggling Jake, and Falcon High wowing with its incredible birds of prey display.

Visit www.watercressfestival.org for event timings and for full details.