MORE than 80,000 people visited this year's Big Cheese festival in Caerphilly, council chiefs say.

Cllr Keith Reynolds, Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council said, “The Big Cheese Festival has become one of the most popular events in Wales and has contributed greatly to helping put Caerphilly county borough on the map as a key tourism destination”.

He continued, “A lot of hard work goes into organising an event of this size and I would like to thank the organisers and our sponsors for their continued support – it really is greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank the visitors and local people who once again turned out to make this year’s Big Cheese such a great success.”

The Big Cheese is the biggest event of Caerphilly County Borough Council’s summer line up and offers plenty of fun for all the family.

And guests had a “brie-lliant” time at the free event, held on the Owain Glyndwr Playing Fields.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday there was entertainment “guaranteed to put a cheesy grin on everyone’s faces”, the council said, kicking off with the Great Cheese Race on Friday night.

Set in the shadows of Europe’s second largest castle, Caerphilly came alive as people descended on the historic market town to experience the history, heritage and culture.

From discovering the Castles’ past in the re-enactment arena, indulging in the food halls, seeking thrills at the funfair and jiving in the music marquee, the Big Cheese weekend offered a smorgasbord of options as the sun beat down on festival-goers.

The event kicked off on Friday with opening celebrations featuring the Great Cheese Race, music, funfair and fireworks display.

After that, the full entertainment programme started on Saturday and Sunday.

A spokesman for Caerphilly County Borough Council described Friday’s fireworks as “spectacular”, adding the that the finale was beautiful.

To ensure people could get to the popular event the council put on free bus services from Risca, Cefn Fforest and Pontlottyn.

Jeff Cuthbert, assembly member for Monmouth, was at the festival and tweeted on Saturday: "Great day at the Big Cheese. Well done Caerphilly Borough Council.”

Wayne David MP also got in on the action, tweeting that the festival was “bigger and better than ever” and praising the event as well organised, adding that Caerphilly Ladies’ Choir was a particular highlight.

Others posted selfies online in front of the famous castle walls while others were more impressed with the local Welsh pavlova icecream and other treats on sale.

Each year the festival includes attractions such as living history, dance, folk dancing, falconry, fire eating, minstrels, troubadours and more.