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How did StrEat Food Fest fare in Harrogate this year?

Enjoying the StrEat Food Festival in Harrogate are Alex Henderson, Rufas Henderson (two), Jem Henderson and Hannah Chandler. (1805264AM8)
Enjoying the StrEat Food Festival in Harrogate are Alex Henderson, Rufas Henderson (two), Jem Henderson and Hannah Chandler. (1805264AM8)

The sun shone, crowds did come out and, if it didn't seem quite as phenomenally popular as it was at its former Valley Gardens location, a good time was had by all at this year’s StrEat Food Festival in Harrogate.

Organised by independent Harrogate businesswoman Cathy McConaghy, the bank holiday weekend feast of food, fun, drink and music took place for the first time not in its original home at the Valley Gardens but in the Yorkshire Event Centre at the Great Yorkshire Showground.
Boasting an array of street food traders offering cuisine of all types - from burgers to Lebanese, African, Caribbean, Greek and more - plenty of people seemed to enjoy the event despite its distance from the town centre.
It was the first time the public had to pay to get in at StrEat Food Festival, though the prices were relatively moderate at £5 per adult with children under-13 free plus free parking.
With hot weather reigning for most of Saturday through Bank Holiday Monday, the crowds were also entertained by street performers, local musicians and the popular DJ Trev.
There was even a giant helter skelter.

Tasty food at Harrogate event - StrEat Food Festival vendors Aaron Singh, Gee Singh, Ryan Singh and Kiran Rani Singh of The Little Indian. (1805264AM4)

Tasty food at Harrogate event - StrEat Food Festival vendors Aaron Singh, Gee Singh, Ryan Singh and Kiran Rani Singh of The Little Indian. (1805264AM4)


The public reaction on social media was mixed.


Facebook

Luke Fitzgerald posted:

Awesome afternoon! Beer, curry, deck chair, helter skelter. Happy days. Will be back for more tomorrow, love these weekend tickets.

Denise Turner pzsted

Very disappointing. No atmosphere or shade from trees on a hot day! Valley Gardens definitely had the local community feeling about it. Shame 😢


The reaction on Twitter to a Harrogate Advertiser tweet previewing the event was largely negative


Mon Cul @Rev_Dino
I wish it well, but an edge of town location and entry fee means I can’t really be bothered. Loved the event in the valley gardens, but can’t see this working as well.


Dave Prince @1dayallofthis
Went down last night. Lacked atmosphere compared to the Valley Gardens and lacked both Vendors and customers to be honest. Location, Location, Location?


@Alan Huddart
We were going to walk with the dogs but no dogs allowed. Given the Yorkshire Show is all about animals I’d have thought that the ground would have allowed dogs. So we didn’t go!


Simon @erawnomiS
Food stalls were fairly varied but overpriced. Location abysmal, no walk through trade, no families, no atmosphere. Back to Valley Gardens please. Oh, and £5 to get in when it’s £9 a burger is a mistake.


Games Crusade @games_crusade
Lots of our customers commented that they preferred it in the Valley Gardens as they could then meander around the town too.

But a fightback began on Facebook after the Harrogate Advertiser posted its original story

Lucy Barrow posted

The reason it’s not at the Valley Gardens is because they can’t hold it there anymore!
The reason there were no dogs is because that’s the Yorkshire Showground policy!!
I think the event was great, some amazing food options, reasonably priced entry, etc etc.
God this town does like to moan.