The fifth anniversary of Northallerton’s Homegrown Food Festival has been hailed a huge success with more people than ever before visiting the event, which has become North Yorkshire’s biggest free food and live music festival.
More than 7500 people from all over the North East and Yorkshire visited this year’s Homegrown Food Festival, on Sunday June 26th, to enjoy the new line-up in the Food Theatre, two stages of live music showcasing a wide range of local talent, the popular Tipple Tent serving locally-brewed beers, spirits and wines and over 100 local producers selling their foods, drinks and crafts.
Popular chefs who appeared included Simon Crannage from Swinton Park, Dave Russell from the Buck Inn at Maunby near Thirsk, Tristan Prudden from The Garden Rooms at Tennant’s in Leyburn, Sarah Muir from The Arches Cookery School at Grinkle Park Farm near Saltburn, Harrison Barraclough from The George at Wath near Ripon and Misba Ellahi from Ooty’s in Stokesley.
The two stages of live music included the ‘Freedom Stage’ where the popular jazz combo ‘Jazz in the Afternoon’, Northallerton’s very own ‘Inspiration Choir’ and local acoustic duo ‘Dream Ticket’ performed.
Other acts included: – Stax, The Bluesics, Jon Sibley, Beggars Bunce, Claudio Kron with his Brazilian drumming and George Boomsma, a North Yorkshire singer/songwriter whose music has been showcased on BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music.This year’s Homegrown Food Festival was themed the ‘Year of the Bee’ and featured a range of activities for families, provided by local artists Abundant Earth in the eye-catching Totem Tipis, showing how bees benefit the environment and the importance of bee-friendly plants.
Other popular attractions included the Kids Kitchen, the Grow Zone and art displays inspired by flowers and bees produced by local schoolchildren.
The Homegrown Food Festival is organised by a small team of volunteers who have worked over the last five years to encourage the community to embrace locally-sourced food and drink and support small producers.
Nicky Smith, funding coordinator for the festival, said: “This year was a truly wonderful event for families and even the weather was good! Children of all ages were in their element with the options of food and the interesting crafts they could take part in. Thanks to an Arts Council grant we were able to provide a wide range of fun and interactive art activities to celebrate our Year of the Bee and local community organisations.”
One of the organisers, Sally Anderson, said: “We wanted to mark our fifth anniversary by offering even more and this was made possible thanks to our amazing team of volunteers. We returned bigger and better than ever and, as a result, attracted record visitors. What’s more, it is really putting Northallerton on the map as this year we not only had more visitors than ever but from a wider variety of areas.”