Yes, after 3 long years, Nantwich Food Festival returns from Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th September. The Festival organisers thank Nantwich Town Council, Cheshire East Council and all sponsors for their ongoing support that has been crucial to the Festival’s continued success.
Festival Friday starts at 11am with a quiet hour for those who want or need to browse the stalls without the crowds. Then Friday continues from 12 Midday to 8pm with food, drinks, live music and lots of entertainment; town centre entertainment starts at 1pm and runs until 8pm, whilst the Reaseheath College Food Theatre has chef demonstrations from 12pm and continues through the weekend.
Festival Saturday runs from 9am – 7pm, so expect more Festival fabulousness plus The Boulton Group Celebrity & TV chef stage at the Civic Hall; Festival Sunday is 10am- 5pm, with the earlier closing time enabling the Festival team to start the massive clear up task.
Direct Access, a Nantwich business, will provide a calm area throughout the weekend to help anyone in need of peace and quiet; Direct Access focuses on helping organisations and governments ensure that the needs of disabled people are considered in any project and how those needs can be met.
Festival organisers are delighted to have their support.
Some town centre car parks need to close to allow space for marquees and all the exhibitors; signs have been up since early August, giving good notice of these closures that will run from 6pm Tuesday 30th August until 5pm Monday 5th September – yes within 24 hours of the Festival finish, the car parks will again be available for use, and the town centre clean and tidy again.
Due to the reduced availability of town centre parking, Festival organisers are urging visitors to use public transport or the Festival Park & Ride scheme, which operates from Brine Leas School, Barony Park and Nantwich Football Club on Festival Saturday and Sunday. Providing the Park & Ride scheme makes travel environmentally healthier and less fraught for everyone.
The Park & Ride scheme is free, but a recommended donation of just £2 per vehicle helps to support this important facility and local charities.
Disabled parking and disabled access buses will operate from the Barony Park & Ride location only, and there will be disabled parking at other locations; please see the map on the Festival website for details.
Turning now to the all important public loos! In addition to the Festival loos, there are public loos next to the market, plus the Nantwich Town Council ‘Comfort Scheme’ whereby participating local cafes etc allow visitors to use their loo – just look out for the posters.
Volunteers will be readily visible in their high viz jackets; they’re the go-to people for Festival brochures, information and directions to anywhere and anything in Nantwich. They also have a well-tested system for dealing with lost children, and can alert first aiders or health and safety if and when needed. Volunteers will have attended their training just days before the Festival kicks off, so will be up to date on safety issues.
All the Festival team members are volunteers, reinforcing the acknowledged fact that Nantwich Food Festival is about the community. The team is grateful to local organisations Morrison’s supermarket and St Mary’s Church, Nantwich for allowing the Festival to use their car park and grassed area respectively.
Simon Walter of Rhino Safety keeps a close eye on everything; Simon ensures risk assessments are in place and monitors events throughout the weekend. The Festival isn’t approved to open until all safety and hygiene inspections are satisfactory on Festival Friday morning.
Simon tells us:-I have worked with the Festival team for quite some years now, ensuring safety barriers are in place and marquees don’t get too over-crowded, plus there are lots more jobs behind the scenes. This means that visitors can have a great time, and go home safe and well at the end of the day.”
Snugbury’s Music Stage at Love Lane, and The Hearing Centre Music Stage at the Bowling Green area will host live music throughout the weekend. Expect to enjoy: Megan Lee, Oli Ng, Callum J Wright and the hugely entertaining Ukulele band, Rebuked, The talented Dayve Dean and the brilliant Belle Aria will wow us, plus there is the wonderful local pianist Andrea Lamballe and many many more; all details are on the Festival website.
See the chef demonstration schedules for both stages, so that you can catch your favourite chef; their demonstrations are bound to be popular.
Reaseheath College will be demonstrating on Festival Saturday and Sunday; the College’s industry standard food centre was among the first educational institutions in the world to be awarded the globally recognised British Retail Consortium Grad AA certification for food safety – a benchmark which commands great respect within the food industry.
It is one of very few colleges which can offer practical and theoretical training in cheese making and butchery within dedicated processing facilities. Reaseheath offers a butchery apprenticeship, well supported by local craft butchers.
The Whitegates Kids Marquee (Kids Corner) will host Cheshire Cupcakes running a cup cake decorating competition on Festival Saturday; see the Festival website or social media for how to enter.
Also in the Kids Corner there will be glitterbugz – think face painting & glitter, and kids activities supervised by Festival Volunteers; gingerbread decorating – thanks to Chatwins bakery; marshmallow and spaghetti sculptures; grass heads, edible rainbows, bread painting and colouring. Donations are welcomed, and will go to Nantwich Foodbank.
Children’s wristbands will be available at the park & ride scheme and all marquees, making it so much easier to find the parents or carers of any lost child.
At time of writing, there are still places in the bread making competition – Rising Talent – simply enter via the Festival website, then bring your entry along to Reaseheath Food Theatre on Festival Friday by 3.30pm.
Yes, the Nantwich Food Festival is well and truly ready for action!