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My Festival: A Cotswold view
The Cheltenham National Hunt Festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year, but if you stopped people in Stow-on-the-Wold, would they be lovers of the event or not? We find out.
BBC Radio Gloucestershire has set out to establish what Gold Cup week means in the Cotswolds and sought a few thoughts of those in Stow-on-the-Wold.
"It means a ten-fold increase in the weekly turnover" says John Salmon from North Cotswold Bookmakers.
"Not only that, the type of bets we get are much larger and the whole fun of the week is enormous."
Also, highly praising of the event was one lady who even moved to Stow to be closer:
"The Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of my year. Having lived outside Gloucestershire for so many years I actually moved to Stow-on-the-Wold to be closer.
"It is like a mecca to go there in March every year to enjoy the thrill of it. The amphitheatre of the racecourse is the best in the world and I hope as many people go and enjoy it as possible."
For those offering a place to stay or a place to eat, not everyone in Stow-on-the-Wold is racing mad but they accept a little knowledge goes a long way. One man said:
"Being in the hotel industry you need to know about what's happening with the horses so you can chat to the customers.
"Luckily we've got a regular clientele who come back to us year after year but I think overall the festival itself is becoming a little less popular, whether that's because of increased prices or because they've made it four days."
It's a major week for Peter Creek, owner of The Kings Arms in Stow, who has the hotel fully-booked for the whole week. He says,
"The bar's full from, pretty much, the time racing finishes through to the time we close the doors and the restaurant is fully-booked for the whole week.
"The atmosphere is fantastic and everybody's out for a good time. It's certainly our favourite week of the year by a long shot."
What is 'My Festival'?
It's a BBC Gloucestershire series, on the radio and online, reflecting how the annual Cheltenham National Hunt Festival impacts on the rest of the county.
How does it affect you? Whether you're planning on going or not, we'd love you to capture a snapshot of what it means to you and email that photograph to: email@example.com
Or simply just tell us in words by filling in the form below...
last updated: 11/03/2009 at 14:57