THE population of Orange swelled by at least 15,000 people during this year’s F.O.O.D Week, and most came from beyond the Blue Mountains.
Almost half of the visitors were from Sydney and discovered there was not only phone reception west of the mountains but hatted restaurants and international award-winning wine.
The FOOD Week committee is still compiling its data to determine the total number of visitors and how much they spent while they were here.
Marketing manager Charlotte Gundry said 15,000 visitors represented only those who had bought tickets to events and did not include people who were visiting cellar doors.
She said visitor numbers were down for the 2014 F.O.O.D Week due to the rain.
The night markets were postponed by one week because of the weather, but the Friday the event was postponed to, it had rained for most of the day and cleared by about 5.30pm.
She said despite the rain, Taste Orange had hoped the events would attract more people.
“A bit lower mostly due to the weather on the first weekend for the night market, we normally get 5000 to that event alone,” she said.
About half the expected number turned out for the night markets but there was a record number at Forage with 1000 people.
Of those who went, 45 per cent were from Sydney, 35 per cent were from central NSW and 12 per cent were from regional NSW.
The remaining eight per cent of visitors were from other areas.
The Taste Orange Facebook page reached over 78,000 people.