Thanks to the 10,000 people who flocked to the Accrington Food and Drink Festival this year and made the event our ‘biggest ever’ – it was great to see Accrington buzzing with such a great party atmosphere, with families enjoying all the delicious food and drink proudly produced here in Lancashire by local farmers and independent traders.
We’ll be back this summer on Saturday June 4th 2016 – but in the meantime please remember to shop locally in Accrington’s Market Hall and support the town’s 250 local shops and services.
Town centre church St James will again play a key role in this year’s Accrington Food and Drink Festival, its vicar saying he can’t wait to see the town buzzing with so many people again.
Last year the church grounds hosted a thrilling live re-enactment of a Second World War skirmish, played out by members of the North West Military Collectors to commemorate the D-Day landings. It proved such a popular attraction that it is set to return at this year’s festival, on Saturday June 4th.
“St James Church has the only remaining green space in the centre of Accrington, so it’s a great place to put on events,” said its vicar, Rev. Ian Enticott.
“It was great last year to see every boundary of the church lined with people, just because there were so many people wanting to see what was going on.”
Last year’s 20-minute all-action re-enactment saw German troops, including a sniper in the church tower, trying to hold off against advancing American GIs. As well as the D-Day commemoration, this year’s festival also marks the 100th anniversary of the terrible losses suffered by the famous ‘Accrington Pals’ battalion on the opening morning of Battle of the Somme in the First World War.
The Battalion Colours are laid up in St James Church and Rev. Enticott said it was important to remember how Accrington had suffered through war in the past so it could be the place it is today.
Accrington Pals reenactors will also take part in the food festival, talking about their kit and the life of a First World War ‘Tommy’. Authentic recipes from the trenches will also be recreated by chefs from the North Lancs Training Group, one of the festival’s key sponsors.
“There was hardly a family in Accrington that didn’t lose someone in the First World War and for that reason we do need to remember it,” said Rev. Enticott. “We need to remember the sacrifices that people made then because they bought the freedoms we enjoy today.”
The vicar is also looking forward to seeing a Spitfire on display outside Accrington Town Hall at this year’s festival, marking 80 years since the RAF’s iconic fighter first took to the skies. But above all he is looking forward to seeing the town filled with people again, both visitors and local alike.
“At last year’s Food Festival we saw thousands of people coming into the centre of Accrington and there was a great array of foods on offer, all sorts of different stalls and something to whet everyone’s appetite,” said Rev. Enticott.
“I’m really looking forward to having that buzz again, seeing thousands of people in the town centre and that feelgood factor of having so many people coming here, so many businesses on display.”
Taking place in the town centre and Market Hall, this year’s Food and Drink Festival will have over 80 stalls showcasing top quality local produce alongside a Continental Market and many more speciality stalls. There will be live cookery demonstrations in an open air theatre with guest celebrity chef Richard Fox, and a children’s cake decorating competition in the Market Hall.
Full details of the day will feature in a festival leaflet being sent out to home across Hyndburn prior to the big day on June 4th. It will also include a ‘Food for Thought’ piece from Rev. Enticott.