Some 8,000 visitors flocked to Dungarvan and Lismore for the second annual Waterford Festival of Food, which was held in glorious sunshine last weekend.
With an extended programme in place for its second edition, festival co-ordinator Therese McDermott was justifiably pleased with how the weekend fared given the crowds, numbers and feedback.
“We’re thrilled that the people of the south east and beyond came out in their droves and supported and enjoyed the festival weekend,” she said.
“We are already anticipating next year’s event and setting the date in the calendar for 2010. Without the support of so many able and generous volunteers the Festival simply could not happen – so a special thank you to all involved.”
The festival was officially opened on Friday last by Fáilte Ireland and Good Food Ireland Chair Redmond O’Donoghue.
He said: “Waterford County Council and their partners in this and other initiatives are to be congratulated for the work they continue to do to enhance Waterford’s appeal to visitors by developing festivals and attractions designed to encourage more home holiday-makers and international visitors, especially outside of the peak summer season.
“In common with other countries, tourism in Ireland faces particular challenges in the context of the global economic downturn. However, festivals like this show our resilience and unwillingness to simply roll over in defeat as the recession bites.”
From seminars on breeding and rearing hens, the joys of producing your own food (a workshop hosted by author and Dunmore resident Michael Kelly) to the ‘Bring Your Own’ picnic on Saturday last, there was something for everyone.
Cookery demonstrations from some of the country’s leading cooks, including Kevin Dundon and Paul Flynn of The Tannery fame, also drew great crowds to Dungarvan Town Hall.
Three ‘Bus Bia’ departed Dungarvan on Saturday morning to visit Mount Melleray and Glencairn Abbeys, local food producers and a number of working farms.
Many of the passengers also joined in the fun at the Lismore Farmers’ market which was alive with activity with a great range of fantastic food also on offer.
The ‘Farmer’s & Country Market Celebration’, the event’s finale in Grattan Square, was opened by Darina Allen which took place on Sunday
This year’s Festival of Food was supported by main sponsor Flahavan’s, along with valuable contributions from Dawn Meats and Glanbia.