CHESTER’S cheesiest competition took place within the city to launch the start of the 2010 Chester Food, Drink and Lifestyle Festival.

The ninth annual Cheese Rolling Competition attracted many spectators to watch their favourite teams, including The Cheese Shop, Makers of Cheshire Cheese, No Hopers, Purely Wicked, Chester Market, Love Food Hate Waste and Dee106.3.

The competition was opened with the Lord Mayor taking the ceremonial cheese from the Town Hall down to Chester Racecourse, where is was stabbed it with a cheese plunger to signify the launch of the festival.

From the seven teams, Cheshire Fire Service and four time winners, The Cheese Shop were in the final. After an almost photo finish, The Cheese Shop, sliced their way through to the finish line closely beating off the new comers in what was one of the most exciting finishes to date.

Ann Faulkner of The Cheese Shop and Cheshire Cheese team member, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that we have been able to take back the title.

“We have been training very hard for the last couple of months and are delighted that the training has paid off! The Chester Fire Service did exceptionally well, especially as it’s their first year.”

As well the cheese rolling competition, the second annual Pancake Day Race took place in the afternoon to celebrate Shrove Tuesday within the city. Included in this year’s teams were Cheshire’s Fire Service, Francs Bistro, Marks & Spencer and Café Latino, all of which thought the event was “flippin’ fantastic!”

Festival Organiser, Stephen Wundke, said: “The competition has been such great fun and we are extremely pleased that The Cheese Shop has won again.”

This year’s Chester Food, Drink and Lifestyle Festival will play host to over 120 food and drink stalls

New for 2010 will be the Homes and Gardens exhibition and camping for more than 300 Campervans.

Tickets for this year’s festival can be bought from and are £6 for adults, children under 12 go free. Camping is £20pp in advance and £30 pp on the day.

Concessions are £4 and there will be a £1 discount for all tickets bought in advance.