Comeback for food festival after three years of silence

Elaine Ayre of Saints and Sinners Preserves, Spalding, with her jams and preserves stand at the 2012 South Holland Food Festival which took place at Ayscoughfee Gardens, Spalding.  Photo by Mike Davison.
Elaine Ayre of Saints and Sinners Preserves, Spalding, with her jams and preserves stand at the 2012 South Holland Food Festival which took place at Ayscoughfee Gardens, Spalding. Photo by Mike Davison.

An event celebrating the “vital importance” of food and drink to the life of South Holland is making a comeback on August Bank Holiday weekend.

The Spalding and South Holland Festival of Food and Drink on August 29 and 30 will end a three-year absence for the event last staged at Ayscoughfee Gardens, Spalding, in August 2012.

One of the area’s biggest food producers, Bakkavor Group, is to sponsor the event alongside Springfields Horticultural Society and organisers are expecting more than 10,000 people to visit the area.

Spalding town centre manager Dennis Hannant, who is coordinating the food and drink festival, said: “Spalding and South Holland have always been well-known for its flower growers, in particular tulips.

“Although the flower production in Spalding remains an important industry, this event will highlight the wide range of food produced in Spalding and south Lincolnshire.

“Visitors to the food and drink festival will be able to sample a wide variety of delights, including real ales, locally-produced ciders and quality non- alcoholic beverages, as well as an assortment of foods from micro-food producers across South Holland and Lincolnshire.”

The original South Holland Food Festival ran from 2010-2012, organised by Boston College to promote the area’s food culture, along with the range of catering and hospitality courses run by the college.

At the end of the 2012 event, the college’s marketing manager Katrina Gilbert said: “We organised this event for the benefit of the South Holland community and we were really delighted with the feedback we had from visitors, as well as the people who ran the trade stands.

“It was a first-time show for some of the traders and the food festival helped put their names out there.”

Plans to revive the food festival as part of a week-long arts and cultural event first emerged two years ago, with momentum finally building with the appointment of a town centre manager for Spalding in November 2014.

Phil Scarlett, president of Spalding and District Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s about bringing people into 
the town and celebrating our food producers here as 
well.”