Well Gloria was right. I should have taken it easy.
As noted here in the column last week, I tried to let my team take the strain of the food festival over the three day bank holiday weekend and they did a fantastic job.
It was incredible to see all their hard work, planning and organising come to fruition and once again the event was a huge success, despite the awful weather.
The Festival opened with a steady stream of visitors on Saturday who valiantly battled the rain and cold, feasting on lots of hot food and sheltering in the marquees and Brewery. At 5 o’clock the Bratwurst Beer Band played lots of old favourites in true oompha style and some of the audience even danced and sang along. It was a great atmosphere.
On Sunday and Monday, with much better weather, thousands of visitors poured in and proved we were right to move it to three days with later opening times. The car parking seemed easier with people coming and going throughout the day and into the evening.
We saw many family visitors in the afternoon. We arranged for the wonderful Greenlands Farm to be at the show. They brought their rabbits and little terrier for the children to pet and offered donkey rides which kept the children happy. As families left to put their tired little ones to bed, more visitors came: more couples and adults who stayed for a drink and something to eat from one of the many hot street food vendors and our own Lancaster Brewery.
The site was transformed into a foodie paradise with 50 exhibitors in marquees, gazebos and huts all over the park.
We started welcoming producers, growers, artisans and foodies into their allotted spaces on the Saturday morning in plenty of time for opening in the afternoon. Our visitors couldn’t wait and there was plenty of people actually queuing to get in before three o’clock.
When we opened, the place already smelt amazing with wood fired pizzas, hot paellas, smoked fish, hog roasts, BBQs and Indian food all cooking away. Visitors spent the days browsing the stalls, tasting and sampling all the different foods and chatting to the exhibitors about their passions: food and drink.