Around 62,000 people attended the Sydney Food And Wine Fair in Hyde Park on Saturday, helping to raise $250,000 for the AIDS Trust of Australia.

Beautiful spring weather plus the promise of 116 stalls selling food, coffee, wine and beer drew hungry and thirsty Sydneysiders from all corners the city, ensuring that every stall was sold out by the end of day.

Some of the popular restaurants to donate food and staff were Longrain, Otto, Kingsleys Steakhouse, Bills, Cafe Sydney, Hugo’s and Oh Calcutta.

The Sydney Star Observer stall selling Pure Blonde beer sold out before 2:30pm.

Terry Trethowan, CEO of the AIDS Trust, was overjoyed by the event’s success and said it made more money than last year’s fair.

The atmosphere on the day was extraordinary, he said. I couldn’t get over the diverse nature of the crowd that was there.

Between midday and 6pm the crowd filled the sun-drenched lawns of Hyde Park to be entertained by drag queens Claire de Lune and Maxi Shield, plus singers including Shauna Jensen and Michal Nicolas.

There were also fun food demonstrations by Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Maria Venuti and Chloe Maxwell.

But the biggest crowd pleaser on the day was Home And Away star Rebecca Cartwright, who ballroom-danced throughout the afternoon with her Dancing With The Stars partner Michael.

The AIDS Trust’s first Sydney Food And Wine Fair was held 14 years ago in the David Jones food hall. Today it is part of The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Month, held in conjunction with the City of Sydney, and attracts large corporate sponsors such as Breville, Qantas and 20th Century Fox.

All the funds raised will be dispersed by the Trust throughout the community to assist ongoing research, education, care and support to people and their families affected by HIV/AIDS in Australia.

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