REAL ale enthusiasts dropped in at the beer tent yesterday to get the party started at Wallingford’s annual BunkFest celebrations.

More than 20,000 people are expected to turn up this weekend at the town’s annual celebration of music, beer, dance and steam engines.

Organisers estimate that visitors could bring a £1m boost for shops, hoteliers and other businesses.

The free festival started yesterday and finishes tomorrow.

Among those sampling a few ales were Andrew and Cleo Wheatcroft, pictured, from Reading, who brought their own horned beer cups with them.

BunkFest spokesman Dave Newson said: “It’s been a great start to the festival today with hundreds of people taking advantage of the good weather.

“The beer tent has been quite full and it’s traditional for drinkers to bring their own special cups and tankards along.

“Everyone is looking forward to the music starting this evening with the band Edward II headlining on The Kinecroft big stage at 9.15pm.

“Today the headline act is Oysterband, and tomorrow Warsaw Village Band will be the main act of the night, to close the festival.

“The weather forecast for the weekend is very good so we are expecting a big crowd.”

The festival is free of charge.

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