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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Taste Cumbria Ulverston Food Festival 2014

A FESTIVAL showcasing the finest food of the region took place in Ulverston – leaving many hoping it will become a more permanent feature.

Taste Cumbria, an event offering some of the finest food and drink Cumbria has to offer, transformed Ulverston into a hub for food-lovers on Saturday and Sunday.

Stalls were incredibly varied, with fresh bread, coffee, curries, wild boar, confectionary and much more on offer.

The streets of Ulverston were flooded with people, both locals and tourists, throughout the course of the weekend. It is estimated that more than 10,000 people attended the event, based on sales.

Event director Marie Whitehead said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant. We didn’t know what to expect with it being the first one, but it’s just been great.

“Lots of the producers have sold out everything they have on both days.

“We just hope we can bring it back next year, and that it will kick off in the same way Taste Cumbria did in Cockermouth.”

In addition to a wide range of food, free talks and cookery demonstrations could be viewed at the top of Market Street.

Peter Gott, of Sillfield Farm, near Kendal, spoke to visitors on both days, talking about his experience of breeding wild boar, and the importance of local markets.

He said: “The crowd here have been very receptive. Saturday’s trade was really good.

“There is a public out there who do want to try something a bit different.

“Ninety per cent of the food we buy is from six major supermarkets, but proper markets still have a value, for local people and for bringing in tourists, and we really need to get to grips with that.”

Mr Gott is not the only one who would welcome a return of the market’s glory days.

Many local businesses reaped the rewards of the event due to the influx of people.

James Farrow works at Mr Simm’s Olde Sweet Shoppe, in High Bridge.

He said: “It’s been really busy. We usually have lunch at about 1.30pm but on Saturday we had to have it at 4.30pm because there were that many people coming in.

“It would be good if there was something like this more often, like a regular farmers’ market.”

Karen Brannon is the owner of Brambles, in Market Street.

She said: “There’s definitely been a lot more people about, and a lot of tourists. It’s been a really nice atmosphere. It was like we were a proper market town again. I would like to see it come back next year.”

Mayor of Ulverston, Helen Irving attended the festival on both days.

She said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic and really good for the town.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have stalls who said they would be happy to come back next year.

“I’m Ulverston born-and-bred and I would love to see an event like this return.”

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