By Graham Chalmers
Last summer it helped put the town on the food and drink map but this weekend it’s back and it’s bigger!
After the huge success of the inaugural Wetherby Food Festival which attracted a phenomenal 10,000 visitors to The Ings on a balmy, sun-blessed weekend 12 months ago, this year’s is stretching out to three packed days of days hot food, live music and real ale.
There’s also an increase in children’s activities this year including Frozen’s Anna & Elsa, Manic Science and more giant bouncy castles.
Organiser Julie Sowden is convinced the second Wetherby Food Festival is going to be even better than the the first.
She said: “Last year’s festival got fantastic weather and we are hoping for the same again. We are opening for an additional afternoon/evening this year which should be a great way for everyone to start their weekend.”
The family-friendly event, which also helps boost funds for local charities, runs from Friday, July 10 to Sunday, July 12.
The gates open tomorrow at 2pm when more than 80 local food producers and traders, local beer bars and live music will all be on offer.
Any anyone worried about missing the climax of this year’s Wimbledon needn’t as the tennis will be broadcast live on large TV screens in the ‘Wimbledon Tent’.
Putting the fun into food, all three days will see American-style eating contests courtesy of Meat Outdoors and Bernie Bumm Sauce Company.
In terms of real ale, the two main local breweries on site at The Ings will be Yorkshire Heart and Rudgate.
The latter has become a firm favourite since it was established in 1992 with several of its beers becoming household favourites, especially Battle Axe, Jorvik Blonde and IPA.
The former, meanwhile, are located in Nun Monkton and are well known for producing quality easy-drinking craft beers in cask and bottles from thir modern micro brewery. For the festival, they will be offering free wine and beer tasting.
While visitors tuck into all this tasty fayre, live music of a wide variety of styles will be provided by local acts.
Three of the highlights are sure to be good time, harmony-laden indie-folk-rock Pelico, classic rock covers band Refried Radio and powerful originals rock trio Strangers in Paradise.
Among other events, Wetherby Lions will be running a charity duck race on the festival site on Sunday morning at 11.00am.
For details, visit www.wetherbyfoodfestival.co.uk