Will sun shine at Harrogate Food & Drink Festival this weekend and what can we expect on the Stray

Organisers' hopes that the weather gods will look kindly on the much-anticipated Harrogate Food & Drink Festival on the Stray this weekend look set to be realised.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 9:39 am
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 9:47 am
Flashback to a previous Harrogate Food & Drink Festival in pre-Covid times.

The two-day festival, the first such major event in the middle of Harrogate since the start of the pandemic, boasts international cuisine, independent bars and breweries and an expansive artisan market to the town.

The event held on the Oatlands Drive part of the Stray will also feature live music, entertainers, performers, and an extensive children’s activities programme.

As for the weather, no rain is forecast in Harrogate on Saturday or Sunday.

Temperatures are predicted to hit a high of 20c tomorrow, Saturday, with light cloud and a gentle breeze.

Sunday is expected to see almost exactly the same in terms of weather conditions for the event in Harrogate with temperatures, perhaps, peaking slightly lower at 19c.

But neither day is expected to see full sunshine.

This weekend's Harrogate Food & Drink Festival will be Harrogate’s first major event of the summer - following on from the success of the recent Spring Flower Show - and social distancing will be enforced.

Other measures include:

Extra cleaning and hygiene stations.

Visitors will be asked to wear masks when not eating or drinking.

There will also be one-way systems in force at entry and exit points, as well as in the marquees.

The festival, which grew out of the highly-successful North Leeds Food Festival, will be offering a variety of the most popular UK street food traders, including Greek, Italian, Indian and American cuisine, Japanese and Chinese dishes.

Local bar traders will be selling craft beers, speciality wine, cocktails, prosecco, cider and more.

Activities for the little ones include magic shows, children’s entertainment and animal exhibits.

Festival-goers will also be able to enjoy a range of exciting food related activities, as the Cookery Theatre with support from Leeds Cookery School and Yorkshire Food Guide.

Experienced chefs will be presenting original dishes including Callum Brown of Horto at Rudding Park, Master Chef semi-finalist Anthony O’Shaugnessy, popular Vietnamese cuisine specialist Loc Bui, owner of Loc’s Taste of Vietnam, and Simon Miller, co-owner of La Casita Tapas Restaurants in Ilkley, Skipton and Boston Spa.

Live music on the main stage will be provided by sax player Will Forrester and Flat Cap Brass funksters.

Although the Government delayed the lifting of all remaining lockdown restrictions until at least July 19, festival organisers say they have done everything they can to make it Covid-secure.

Organiser Michael Johnston said they had done everything within their power to ensure the event could go ahead safely.

“We are running Covid controls and following all regulations at our events - the usual hand sanitising stations, social distancing etc.” he said. The Harrogate Food and Drink Festival lends itself to being quite Covid-safe anyway - it’s outdoors in a very open area, with everyone spaced out.”

Since the creation of the first North Leeds Food Festival in 2016, organisers have raised more than £18,000 for mental health charities through their events in both Leeds and Harrogate.

Harrogate Food & Drink Festival will take place on the Oatlands Drive area of the Stray from 10am on Saturday until 7pm on Sunday.

Tickets must be purchased in advance.

To book tickets for the two-day event, visit: www.harrogatefoodfestival.com

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