The vibe is decidedly continental, the accents unmistakably Yorkshire.
The French might have grander squares and better wine but they don’t have Saltaire Blonde cask ale on tap, nor pork pies as tasty as those from Bolster Moor Farm Shop.
After a morning downpour, the sun came out and with it the crowds of office workers, families and shoppers.
The toughest decision, as ever, is what to try first from over 90 stalls.
Our first port of call was The Monkey Club bar where staff Ian Armitage and Gareth Shaw were serving pint after pint of the amber nectar that is Saltaire Blonde.
Ian was delighted with the opening day’s trade.
“It’s ticking over nicely,” he said. “There’s a lot of folk here, thanks to the weather. I think Saltaire Blonde will outsell our other beers four to one.”
And we are a thirsty lot in the West Riding - at last year’s Festival The Monkey Club stall got through about 80 casks of real ale, each containing something like 70 pints.
Town crier Vic Watson, who had just tucked into a chicken curry when we bumped into him, said: “I have never seen so many people on the first day, so I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like on Saturday and Sunday.”
Although a non-drinker, he had enjoyed a tot of Champagne vodka while he considered the merits of crocodile and kangaroo burgers.
“I say to everyone ‘get yourself down here and enjoy it’. There’s food from all over the world.”
Huddersfield again showcased the very best in local produce, from pies and pints to ice cream and confectionery.
Yummy Yorkshire, based at Ingbirchworth, were selling yummy ice cream, with owners Jeremy and Louise Holmes holding the cornets.
“Our best-seller today is cherry bakewell flavour; usually it’s salted caramel,” said Louise.
Simon Haigh, of the Bolster Moor Farm Shop, expected to sell a few Beast Burgers and predicted that the stall would sell around 1,500 award-winning pork pies.
“We’ve sold more than 250 already this morning. We sell a lot of pork pies.”
For the sweet-toothed, look out for the Ministry of Chocolate and the nearby Simply Strawberries stall.
For a taste of Jamaica, head to Jerk House for some jerk chicken.
Jerk House owner Simon Brown, who is enjoying his first Festival as a trader, said: “It’s brilliant. I have been planning for this in my head for two years. Now we have a shop (on Manchester Road, near Wickes) it is the right time for us. And the weather has turned out really nice.”
Emma Copeland, a bar lady at the nearby Kings Head pub who was having a wander around the Festival on her day off, said: “We will be putting our own beer tent up outside the pub. We are expecting it to be very busy.
“I think it will be busier than last year, but we shall see. Last year we sold a lot of Farmers Blonde.”
Aurangzeb Khan, owner of one of Huddersfield’s best-known curry houses, Kabana on Trinity Street, said he had seen the food festival grow from a handful of stalls in 1999 to its current status.
Mr Khan, a 49-year-old grandfather known as ‘Biloo’, said: “We first came here in 1999 with a few other chefs. I think there were only six stalls or so in total.
“And now this food festival has grown to become one of the biggest in the country. I love it. I love serving the community. It’s a great occasion for all the community to come together.”
Brendan Callaghan, 68, from Marsh who was accompanied by his 12-year-old grandson Richard from Richmond, North Yorkshire, said: “I’ve been to every one since it began in 1999. The choice of food dishes is unbelievable.
“Who would have thought you could be sat eating moules marinières, the quintessential French holiday dish, in St George’s Square?!”
And his friend Tim Moore, 52, of Oakes, Huddersfield, added: “I have been coming down for a few years now and I just love the whole atmosphere of it. Everyone getting together and having a good time.
“I just can’t believe Kirklees Council are prepared to let it go if the sponsorship dries up. After all, 100,000 people can’t be wrong!”
* The festival runs until Sunday, August 4. Opening times: Thursday: 11am-9pm, Friday: 10am-10pm, Saturday: 10am-10pm, Sunday: 10.30am-5.30pm
Last orders will be called 45 minutes before closing, for a duration of 15 minutes.