Record breaking crowds thronged to Reaseheath College’s Family Festival on Sunday, making the event the best and biggest since its launch 23 years ago.

Around 11,000 visitors enjoyed the action-packed event on the college’s Nantwich campus, which offered hundreds of fun activities and displays in a day of perfect spring sunshine.

Headline acts included the world’s leading horse back falconer Jonathan Marshall, returning for the second time by popular demand, who thrilled spectators with a new display featuring birds of prey and highly schooled film horses.

Families admired an authentic model of a WW2 Mark 1X Spitfire, enjoyed cookery demonstrations by Coronation Street actor and multi award winning cheesemaker Sean Wilson, toured the campus on a land train or relaxed on the lawn listening to musical acts. The main stage was sponsored by AO, Crewe based on-line electricals store.

Family entertainment was guaranteed by ‘have a go’ activities run by staff and students ranging from tree climbing and a forest school to brick laying, operating a digger and numerous sporting activities. Other highlights included a calf show, horse riding and polo displays and tours of the college zoo, horticultural glasshouses and food processing halls. There were also displays of sophisticated tractors, farm machinery and American muscle cars.

Children were introduced to science at an outdoor learning lab and tackled an assault course, zorbing and a disco dome while canine companions took part in a novelty dog show and made a splash at a specially designed dog pool provided by K9 Aqua Sports.

Opportunities for refreshments ranged from vintage teas to street food vendors and there was a Farmers and Craft Market with over 60 stalls. Reaseheath Student Association took the opportunity to raise funds for this year’s chosen charity, Diabetes UK.

Champion handler in a student calf show was Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture student Elliw Roberts while Reserve Champion was Elle Powell, a Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma student.

Reaseheath Principal and CEO Marcus Clinton said: “This was an inspiring day. It was wonderful to see thousands of people engaging with the countryside, learning about the college’s specialist areas and gaining a better understanding about the important agendas around sustainable food production and environment sustainability.

“We received fantastic visitor feedback which demonstrated how valued this event is and highlighted how wonderful our staff are at showcasing the college through its superb breadth of activities and displays.

“We are very proud of our staff, the campus and the success we have supporting our students into positive futures and careers. Community is at the heart of Reaseheath and it was a privilege to see that in action at our Family Festival.”

Fiona Russell, whose daughter Ruby had enjoyed tackling the Science Challenge, said: “We’ve had a great day out. We’ve been a couple of times and there’s always so much to do and see!”