Food and Fun at Harvest Festival

Waterford city centre played host to the tenth Waterford Harvest Festival last weekend, with the city proving a fusion of food and fun over three days.
Events kicked off early on Friday with the Baby HQ LiveWell Day, followed by the LEO Love Local lunch, Glanbia Sports Nutrition talk, Deise Hurlers Cook-off, Bread is Gold workshop, Just Desserts at La Boheme and Mezze pop-up at Garter Lane. Continuing throughout the weekend the city was teeming with food and craft fairs, festival markets, sparkling lunches, foraging, health and wellness sessions, chef collaborations, food trails, feasts and live music.

Pictured at the Viking  Feast with the Gastro Gays at Walsh's Bakehouse were, from left: Dermot Walsh, Patrick Hanlon, Michael Walsh and Russell James Alford. | Photos: Colin Shanahan/Digicol

Pictured at the Viking Feast with the Gastro Gays at Walsh's Bakehouse were, from left: Dermot Walsh, Patrick Hanlon, Michael Walsh and Russell James Alford. | Photos: Colin Shanahan/Digicol


Despite a rather damp and blustery Saturday, visitors took to Arundel Square, John Robert’s Square, along Waterford’s Cultural Quarter, and up to Ballybricken to sample the very best of local produce in the dozens of food and craft stalls at the festival’s many markets. There were also a range of cookery demonstrations and cook-offs, in addition to craft beer and gin trails, while festival goers tried their hands at cocktail making and meeting the makers afterwards. Harvest Festival Director, Tommie Ryan was delighted with another successful festival. “Once again, it was an exciting programme to work on,” he said. “While the start to Saturday was a little inclement, the rain stayed away for the remainder of the weekend and visitors to the festival got the opportunity to graze their way through the city.”

Mr Ryan added: “The caliber of events was well received and moving the festival into the heart of the city centre and along the Cultural Quarter seemed to work well. I think it gave the festival a more intimate feel, while still having a broad and appealing range of events for food lovers, fun lovers and families. It’s quite an eclectic programme, and while food is at the very heart of it, it’s fused with fun, engagement and the chance to learn more about the fantastic food and drink producers in the region.”The festival markets are always a great draw as visitors can chat with the producers and find out more about the products they are taking home. The restaurants, once again, pulled out all the stops to create unique quality dining events. Waterford restaurateurs and chefs are quite ingenious when it comes to putting together stand-out dining experiences for their customers.”
In addition to the exciting restaurant events, some of Munster’s top chefs demonstrated their skills in producing great dishes using local produce during the Dawn Meats Festival demos in John Roberts Square.

From left: Cian Foley (Kettlebell Champion), Arthur Dunne (Leinster Rugby), Kieran O'Connor (WLR's Big Match and Farmview), Gary Walsh and ex-Waterford Hurling Manager Derek McGrath at the Glanbia Sports Nutrition Talk which was held at The Book Centre.

From left: Cian Foley (Kettlebell Champion), Arthur Dunne (Leinster Rugby), Kieran O'Connor (WLR's Big Match and Farmview), Gary Walsh and ex-Waterford Hurling Manager Derek McGrath at the Glanbia Sports Nutrition Talk which was held at The Book Centre.


Food, The Waterford Way (outside this newspaper’s offices!) showcased the produce of its award-winning producers, The GastroGays drew a full house at Walsh’s Bakehouse as they combined Scandinavian flavours, local produce and of course, the ubiquitous blaa to create a feast fit for a Viking and GIY produced a packed line-up of food photography and styling workshops, cottage market collectives, and ‘Grow, Cook, Eat’ workshops.The Ballybricken Green bustled with birds of prey, shire horses, reptiles and farm animals at Agri Aware’s mobile farm, while Junior HQ provided the younger Harvesters with the tools and advice to sow and grow, try their hand at acting and drama.

Meanwhile, Garter Lane laid on a packed programme of poetry, theatre and film for those looking for something a little more artistic.Tommie Ryan added: “The Festival Markets that skated from Arundel Square down to O’Connell Street did a brisk trade as visitors grazed their way through the Cultural Quarter. And the Applemarket proved itself the perfect setting for the StreetFeast as local restaurants put on a sumptuous Harvest feast.””While the festival thrives on the locals and visitors to the city who come along over the three days and support the producers, traders, restaurants and cafes, we are indebted to our sponsors, in particular, Waterford City and County Council, Dawn Meats, Glanbia, Sanofi, Se2 and Handheld.ie for providing the support to help it grow and hopefully continue for another 10 years

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