The second year of the Dunmore East Food Festival proved to be a tremendous success. Fine weather, a wide variety of food stands, interesting talks and some musical events meant that there was huge interest there. On Sunday the crowds were so large, it was difficult to drive through the village. Perhaps, a one way system might be considered for next year. A special bus with park and ride facilities was an interesting initiative.
The fine weather meant people could really be outdoors and contrasted greatly with the previous year when there was heavy rain. It has been stated several times in the past year or two in the Munster Express how food tourism can be a big earner for Waterford and the South East.
In September, we have the Harvest Festival in the city and we had the Dungarvan Food Festival in April so there are opportunities for the region to build a branding for food. We note how the Irish Times, last week, covered the new Tannery Restaurant herb garden and cooking school. In the same edition, there was a very positive story on the Gardens of Kilmeaden which proved most interesting. They are open each Thursday.
These good news items follow on from the opening of the House of Waterford Crystal Centre last week, which was a great positive. One hundred jobs may not be much to boast about compared to the previous Kilbarry plant but it is a start for the firm again and, in the city centre, more local firms will benefit from the increased footfall. We hear of other craft businesses willing to set up near this location. As they say, more business attracts more and crowds follow crowds.
The fine weather over the past month has led to a feel-good factor and has resulted in a more than positive view of the future. That said, continued threats about property taxes and more harsh measures to solve the public finances make the situation appear all the harder.