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Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Final Countdown to Shrewsbury Food Festival

Shrewsbury Food Festival is getting ready to descend in the town’s Quarry park for the festival weekend on June 29th and 30th 2024.

Shrewsbury Food Festival is getting ready to descend in the town’s Quarry park
Shrewsbury Food Festival is getting ready to descend in the town’s Quarry park

The region’s best chefs will lead sessions in the Shrewsbury Gin Chef Talks and Demos tent and the Monks Chef School.

Michelin-starred, acclaimed chef Marc Wilkinson, who runs a chef’s table at Fraiche near Oswestry, is making his Shrewsbury Food Festival debut. His one-man intimate restaurant is booked up months in advance so this will be a prime chance to see him at work.

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Other chef names include Ben Hall and Carla Ernst from The Walrus Restaurant, Steve The Hungry Guy, Andrew Birch from Checkers, and Ben Marshall from the Lion & Pheasant. The chef lineup has been curated by Festival Head Chef, Chris Burt, who has taken over the Quarry Kitchen by the swimming baths. The Chef School will be raising money for Self Help Africa.

The Kitchen Depot Kids Cook Along area is moving to be by the Monks Chef School, where kids can get hands-on with sweet and savoury dishes. The area will be raising money for Shropshire Fostering and Adoption.

The Adcote School Kids Area is the biggest in the festival’s 11 year history and all activities are free. Children can try out lots of sports, from Pickleball to martial arts, get musical with The Rock Project, try circus skills with Panic Circus, and craft with Scrappies. There will be a baby changing tent courtesy of Tiny Swimming. AJS Bouncy Castles are bringing a new selection of inflatables, including a 100ft course, bungee run, bouncy castle and slides.

Cornovii Developments Home & Gardens Area will be packed with homeware and gifts, plus Love Plants will be exhibiting their plants and flowers for the first time and Pieces for Places will be returning. The Darwin Centre Exhibitors Area will have local food and drink producers and artisans, with cheese, meats, liqueurs, pies, cakes, chocolate, fudge, coffee, cider and beer, oils, honey, spices, olives, and pastries.

Spar is sponsoring the exhibitors’ wi-fi so they can take card payments in the middle of the Quarry. They will be serving free tasters from their truck including pizza, flapjacks, and brownies.

In the Reconomy Field to Fork area, you can learn about farming, food, and environmental issues. There will be sheep and pigs from Park Hall Countryside Experience to meet, tractors from Tallis Amos Group, activities from Educating Kids Outdoors and Severn Trent, Alison’s Bee Class, and free support for SME’s from Sustaining Shropshire.

The Foodhub Live Music Stage will provide the soundtrack to the weekend with local bands and performers. The lineup includes festival favourites Dirty Rockin’ Scoundrels, Groove Dynamite, Ego Friendly, Shireish Rovers, Lucas D and the Groove Ghetto and more. Shrewsbury’s ‘I Can Dance’ will be taking over for Charleston and Bhangra demonstrations too.

Over on the family entertainment bandstand, local theatre group Get Your Wigle On will showcase their top talent and you will catch Shrewsbury Morris Dancers on the Saturday.

Pure Pet Food is funding a dog hub for four-legged friends to take a break with some shade, paddling pools to cool off in, and dog waste bins. Monks Estate Agents are bringing giant thrones in celebration of sponsoring the event for 10 years.

Beth Heath, Director of Fun at Shropshire Festivals, said, “The Shrewsbury Food Festival is way more than food stalls and face paints. Being named ‘Best Festival in the West Midlands’ proves this is a lot more than a food festival. The Quarry comes alive with bands on the Live Music Stage, performances on the Bandstand, 200 independent food, drink, home and garden stalls, street food trucks and bars, chef demos, a chef school, kids cook along tent, fun and education in the Field to Fork area, treats in the Reclaim Tax VIP area, and a whole field of free kids activities that will provide fun all day long.

“We’re all about championing local, and as well as the best locally made food, you can enjoy the region’s best drinks, including the Hencote’s Wine Bar and G&Ts from Shrewsbury Gin.

“Thank you to all the local businesses who are sponsoring the event, including Aaron & Partners, Cartwrights, Dulson Training, Salop Hire, Start Tech, TCA, Volvo, Human Results, MyWorkwear, Wenlock Water, Tudor Griffiths Group and many more. We are eternally grateful to everyone who supports the event with sponsorship and ticket sales. On average our infrastructure costs have increased by 25% but our ticket prices haven’t, so please keep supporting local events!

“Come for the food, stay for the fun and leave with the memories.”

To increase footfall on Sunday, June 30th there is some extra entertainment in store. There is a surprise for Martin Wood at 11am at the Live Music Stage in celebration of his 40th anniversary as our Town Crier. Shrewsbury Concert Band will be on the Bandstand at 12 noon. At 11am and 3.30pm there will be a special performance from the 2Faced Dance Company, facilitated by Arts Alive thanks to a grant from Vibrant Shropshire. Fish Boy is a dance, circus and theatre performance following Tommy Minton on his adventure to find his friend ‘fish’ where he uncovers what is polluting our rivers. It was co-created by 115 primary school children from across Herefordshire.

The Shrewsbury Food Festival is on June 29th and 30th in the Quarry. Organisers have created a new layout this year, with entry only from the top of the park nearest to St Chad’s. Tickets can be bought in advance at www.shrewsburyfoodfestival.co.uk or on the day.

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