After being one of the Hunter's first events to be cancelled last year after the COVID-19 outbreak, Maitland Taste Festival had mouths watering once again this weekend.
The festival, which was cancelled a day out last year, returned in a "deconstructed" style, including a night time component for the first time ever.
In an effort to spread out the crowds, a Friday program was added this year, and Maitland City Council's events team leader Kara Stonestreet said 2500 turned out to enjoy the opening night festivities.
"We've been really happy to see all the crowds," she said. "This is the first flagship event council has put on since restrictions eased.
"It was a challenging year last year, not just for us but for the stallholders, musicians and entertainers. It's really good to be able to bring back large scale events."
The event was also spread out from the usual area in The Levee to other parts of the CBD, with pop up bars and eateries in laneways, parks and church grounds.
"We utilised spaces in the city that don't generally get used that often," Ms Stonestreet said. "It's been really good. The cooking demonstrations have been really, really popular."
Taste Festival continues on Sunday.
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