Thousands of visitors enjoy National Eisteddfod in the Vale of Glamorgan
12:00pm Saturday 11th August 2012 in News
TENS of thousands of visitors have flocked to the Maes, since the National Eisteddfod opened in the Vale of Glamorgan on August 4.
The annual Welsh cultural festival got under way at Llandow last Saturday, when 18,207 people enjoyed the fun – more than 1,500 up on last year’s opening day in Wrexham.
Organisers say they were just nine people short of breaking a five-year attendance record for an Eisteddfod opening Saturday, which was set in 2009 when 18,216 were ushered through the gates.
Sunday's attendance was 15,305, and Monday’s was 16,121, with similar numbers daily during the rest of the week.
Festival chief executive Elfed Roberts said: "The Eisteddfod is about showcasing everything good about Wales, whether it be poetry, singing, art or food. That’s what we try to do."
Vale Council leader, Cllr Neil Moore, speaking after the opening weekend, said: "It's been absolutely brilliant, and the concert with Only Men Aloud, Boys Aloud and Kids Aloud was truly exceptional - the best concert I've been to in years!
"It's a great pleasure for the Vale to host the Eisteddfod this year."
Dafydd Rhys Thomas, 16, from Cardiff, who volunteered in the Vale of Glamorgan tent with the heritage coast team, said: "It has been a pleasure teaching young children about the wildlife scene in the Vale. I think the activities on offer have brought something new to the Eisteddfod and I'm proud to be a part of it."
Caitlin Davies, eight, from Barry, performed with the Clwb Ser dance group. "It has been a really good day, the dancing was my favourite bit," she said.
"I was a bit nervous but it was fun to perform in front of everyone. I'm looking forward to singing in the Vale Choir."
Cllr Gwyn John said: "The organisation and the team of the Eisteddfod need to be applauded for the work they've done."
Vale AM Jane Hutt praised everyone involved, from fundraisers to sponsors and organisers.
And visitor Joan Greenfield from Essex said: "The Eisteddfod certainly started very well - the concert was great.
"The location is great. I don't get a lot of opportunity to speak Welsh now so the Eisteddfod is a fantastic experience."