Can Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival top its record 150,000 visitor tally in 2013?

PUBLISHED: 00:14 02 May 2013

Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival

Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival

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The organisers of one of Yorkshire’s biggest food and drink festivals have got a lot on their plate this year. Not only is it their 13th anniversary (unlucky for some) but they’ve also set themselves the challenge of beating last year’s total of 150,000 visitors (up a staggering 50,000 on 2011).

One of Yorkshire’s biggest – some claim the biggest – food and drink festivals is held in St George’s Square, Huddersfield every August, drawing in producers, traders and cooks (both amateur and professional) from across Kirklees and beyond.

This year’s much-anticipated four-day event takes place from Thursday August 8th to Sunday August 11th and will once again boast an impressive line-up of demonstrations, sampling sessions (don’t have lunch before you go), workshops and children’s entertainment.

The vibrant marquees will stay open late on Friday and Saturday evening to give eager festival-goers the chance to squeeze in a bit more fun as they enjoy live music and soak up the atmosphere until the last drink has been drunk and the last nibble gobbled.

This year’s Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival is sponsored by John Smith’s, which already has a strong connection with the area thanks to its recent stadium-naming deal with Huddersfield Town FC.

‘We’re delighted to partner with the Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival,’ said Richard Sandland, regional sales director for Heineken, which owns the John Smith’s brand. ‘The festival is a celebration of regional flavours, with the very best tastes of Yorkshire on display by local chefs, brewers and producers.

‘The stadium has been part of Huddersfield’s community for almost 20 years and we wanted to show our support for this prestigious event.

‘The festival helps to put Huddersfield firmly on the map as a key destination in Yorkshire.’

Backing from a major company is a vital element in ensuring the continued success of the town’s popular food and drink festival, as Paul Scott, chairman of event-organiser Huddersfield Town Centre Partnership, explained: ‘The support we’ve already received from the stadium and the work that we’ll be able to do together for Huddersfield is already proving beneficial.

‘We look forward to working with Heineken in the weeks leading up to the food and drink festival, which will be a celebration of our partnership and a clear demonstration of our commitment and close working relationship with the stadium.’

This summer’s event will feature more than 70 stallholders alongside numerous demonstrations, exhibitions and shows.

‘Stallholder bookings have been coming in faster than ever,’ said event organiser Cathy Burger. ‘We’re really pleased to be welcoming back festival regulars as well as new stallholders who will add to the variety and help showcase the very best of what our region has to offer.’

Festival-goers will be able to enjoy an hourly programme of free cookery demonstrations by local chefs and producers. The cookery demonstration theatre is being given a fresh new look this year, supported by In-Toto Kitchens, and a new location (maps and guides will be available online at foodanddrinkfestival.org.uk in July).

‘We’re keen that the event is fun for all the family,’ said Cathy. ‘Children can get involved in our popular programme of free workshops. And there’s also plenty of free entertainment to keep them smiling.

‘As the sun goes down on Friday and Saturday evening, we hope people will stay and enjoy the Festival at Dusk, where there’ll be live music and plenty of food and drink on hand. At this point, the festival really takes on a party atmosphere.’

To find out more about Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival, call 01484 480890, email info@htcpl.org.uk or visit foodanddrinkfestival.org.uk.

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