Preparations for Belper’s biggest ever food and drink festival are well under way, as 100 stallholders prepare to descend on the town this weekend.
The event, which is the premier event in the town’s culinary calendar, will feature a classic car show, real ale and craft festival and will see performers dotted throughout the town playing music to the masses on Sunday, July 13 from 10am to 4pm.
In 2013, Ready Steady Cook star Brian Turner gave the event his backing and this year Derbyshire celebrity chef Sat Bains - star of the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen - has offered a message of support to organisers.
Leader of Belper Town Council Cllr John Nelson said: “It’s going to be bigger and better than ever. The event has grown like ‘topsy’ over the years.
“Following on from the incredibly successful Belper Arts Festival, it’s like everything in the town at the moment – really flourishing.
“Belper is the in place to be at the moment and there is a waiting list for stalls with the event at capacity.
“We just need the weather now and we will be away. Without all the volunteers that help the event though none of it would be possible – so a huge thank you to them.”
Mr Bains, who is the proprietor of two Michelin starred restaurants and was also one of the winners on the BBC show Great British Menu in 2007 sent a good luck message to the Belper News to pass on to organisers this week.
The food festival, which attracted around 10,000 people last year brings thousands of pounds into the local economy with everything from ostrich burgers to red pepper jelly on sale. There is also a knock-on benefit for the town’s shops.
It was first launched in July, 2007, with 24 traders and three local bands, and has grown steadily each year since then to fill King Street and Campbell Street.
The event gives local producers a unique opportunity to promote their wares directly to the public.
Musicians will also be located at ‘busk stops’ in the town from 11.30am until 3.30pm this year as part of an Open Mic Competition and the Vanessa Millar School of Dance will perform at 12pm and then 3pm.
A spokesman for Belper Town Council said: “Visitors are able to taste a huge range of products on sale, ranging from real ale, cheeses, meats and cakes.
“It is a perfect day out for food lovers and a showcase for our local producers.
“There will be a wide spectrum of musicians and dancers performing at the festival which will bring a street party atmosphere to the day.”
Entrance is free and will suit all ages.