40,000 happy visitors, 200 happy exhibitors, and a town full of contented businesses can mean only one thing: that Nantwich had another successful Food Festival. Despite early forecasts, the sun shone throughout, bringing record crowds.
Linda Martin, Chef Organiser says “A real highlight of the weekend that we were delighted to manage was the transformation of the Civic Hall on Saturday and Sunday into The Boulton Group Celebrity demonstration theatre, where the celebrity and TV chefs showed their cooking prowess to the delight of the audiences.”
At the opposite end of the town centre, Reaseheath College sponsored the 2nd demonstration theatre throughout the 3 days where yet more chefs, booked by Karen Young, showed their culinary skills. TV chef Dean Edwards showed his prowess to a packed audience, and Elliot Hill, Executive Chef of the Grosvenor Hotel Chester had standing room only.
Karen also organised Nantwich Bake-off, won by Nicola Chesters, whose Victoria Sponge wowed the judges. Fran Rogers won the Rising Talent bread making competition with her amazing bread. Both these worthy winners took away hampers filled with goodies thanks to the generosity of the M&S Nantwich store
Festival Friday was a treat for all, with fantastic street entertainment and lots of fun activities for children and adults alike that started at 1pm. Live music started on Friday and continued right through until the very end of the Festival, creating a great atmosphere at both The Hearing Centre Bowling Green music stage, as well as Snugburys Love Lane music stage.
A very well-received initiative was the quiet hour at the beginning of the Festival for those who wanted or needed a quieter environment to browse the stalls; The Calm Corner was in place for the first time, and was well-used throughout the Festival.
The Whitegates Kids Marquee was a huge success; Laura thanks her team of volunteers saying “We were kept busy all weekend helping the children with crafts, marshmallow sculptures, gingerbread decorating and much more.
She goes on to say “I want to thank all the businesses who worked with us plus local baker, Chatwins for their donation of the many ‘naked’ gingerbread people.”
The large exhibitor marquees sponsored by Applewood Independent, Hall Smith Whittingham and Mornflake, plus the Boughey Food Market, sold a great range of food, drinks and gifts.
Overall a great success; Festival Chairwoman Chris Farrall says ”We would like to send a special thank you to Nantwich Town Council and Cheshire East Council plus all the generous Festival Sponsors; their support of the event enables it to take place every year for the benefit of Nantwich businesses, and to encourage visitors to return to the town. We have heard of some visitors checking out local housing with a view to moving to live in Nantwich.
Chris went on the say “We have already heard feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike. A survey of exhibitors, and their comments will help guide our plans for 2023.”
Comments from visitors included: ‘Fabulous atmosphere’, ‘wonderful shops and cafes in the town’, ‘Can’t wait for the 2023 Festival’, ‘So professionally run, and what fantastic volunteers’, ‘What a great event; it’s impressive that a small market town can organise such a great festival’.
Local business, Three Wrens Gin told us “It was our best trading day EVER – we’ll be back next year”. Nantwich business RDW was constantly busy both at the stall and in their Pillory St shop, and Mornflake Oats sold record amounts of their award-winning goods.
Cafe Cannoli sold out of their delicious pastries by early Sunday afternoon, and there were lots more empty stalls, with smiling, happy stallholders.
Volunteer co-ordinator Ana Martins is rightly keen to thank her team of volunteers; Ana says “Without the passion and hard work of the volunteers, the Festival would not go ahead – we are all volunteers, whether we work 2 hours over the Festival weekend or throughout the entire year.
If anyone would like to join us as a volunteer to be part of the success of Nantwich Food Festival, then just contact me via the Festival website or email me at email@example.com”
Lastly and most importantly, Festival Director, Nanna Pedley says “We want to thank the local residents and businesses for their support and patience with the organisational and infrastructural demands of holding this event in the town itself. We do this every year to ensure that visitors experience the town, not just the Festival.”
Dates for Nantwich Food Festival 2023 have already been set, so put them in your diary now: September 1st, 2nd and 3rd, do keep an eye on the Nantwich Food Festival website at Nantwich Food Festival.
See more photographs from around the festival.