The festival has become a firm favourite with county foodies and, with its appeal now spreading across the UK, is set for a full house when it opens its gates on 27th and 28th June.
From small seeds...
The event at the town's Quarry Park sold out in its first and second year and is on course to do the same this summer. Last year 20,000 people flocked to the park and 2015 is set to attract similar numbers. The growing festival now welcomes 200 exhibitors, food and drink producers, craftspeople and hot food vendors. 2015 sees the return of the popular chef demonstration stage featuring the county’s top cooks, sponsored by Shropshire’s Wenlock Spring water. There is also a generous helping of talks from the world of creative cuisine, activities for children, artisan bars and live music to get toes tapping.
The festival is run with the help of a team of 100 volunteers, called #TeamOrange. The event has helped Shrewsbury to build a reputation as being a centre of gastronomic excellence. The team has already received enquiries from across the UK. The event generates an estimated £500,000 for the local economy.
The foodie action isn't confined to the Quarry Park. Throughout the month of June, 20 of the town's restaurants, cafes and bars will be part of Shrewsbury Food Festival’s Restaurant Safari. The Safari, sponsored by Monks, offers customers the opportunity to pop in and out of the town's many independent eateries, to sample small tasters from their menus.
Food for thought
Prices are being kept at affordable levels, with adult tickets priced £6, children £1 and family tickets at £12. The event will generate money for good causes locally, with £1,000 going towards the cost of a new garden at a nearby school. Two restaurant-themed events will raise money to support Self-Help Africa and a local charity that assists the homeless, called The Ark. Wenlock Spring will be working with the festival on the project to build a new garden for a local school
Event chair Andy Richardson said: "We're in cracking shape for the third Shrewsbury Food Festival. It's going to be an exceptional weekend of food and family fun. We've done our research and tickets are less than any comparable event. We're committed to building a really big event for the town that everyone can attend. Twelve pounds for a family of four is amazing value - it means visitors will have plenty left over to spend with the exhibitors or at the hot food stands and bars. Last year we welcomed 20,000 people to our show ground and we're looking forward to a similar number of visitors this year. Shrewsbury Food Festival has become hugely popular. We are receiving enquiries from as far afield as north Scotland and Cornwall. It seems word has got out that Shrewsbury has one of the best and most family-friendly food festivals in the UK.”
Beth Heath, festival chief executive, said: "People from around the UK are really starting to link Shrewsbury to great food. It's getting a fantastic reputation around the country. There are more restaurants, more producers and there's more fun to be had. The festival has become a key event in Shrewsbury's calendar and we can't wait to return on the last Saturday and Sunday in June for our third festival. It'll be the biggest and best yet. We've even booked the sunshine . . .?!"
Further details are available from www.shrewsburyfoodfestival.co.uk
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