Thousands of people are expected to descend on Stafford this weekend for the town’s Cheese and Ale festival.
The inaugural event last year saw more than 30,000 visitors flock to the Market Square and surrounding streets with many exhibitors having to restock through the day because of the demand for their products.
And on Saturday (6th) nearly 30 exhibitors will be showing off their high quality cheeses and wide range of ales along with chutneys, breads and ciders.
The day will see two huge marquees in the Square with demonstrations and cooking competitions by top local chefs in one – and the exhibitors in the other. And due to the popularity of the 2014 event a third marquee with more retailers will be erected along the main high street. An Al Fresco bar is another new addition to the 2015 event.
There will also be entertainment throughout the day including live Irish music, Morris Men, and a juggling chef. And children will not feel left out with face painting, the chance to paint your own plate, and to meet the festival mouse.
Other events will be taking place in venues around the town centre such as a demonstration of wooden barrel making by one of the few remaining practicing ‘Coopers’ in the country, and children’s activities at the Indoor Market.
The Festival is organised by the Borough Council and Stafford Town Centre Partnership (TCP).
Chris Lewis, Chair of the TCP, said: “This is a fantastic event and you don’t need to be a cheese or an ale lover to appreciate everything we have going on through the day. Last year our exhibitors had to restock on a number of occasions through the day - and I am sure Saturday will be just as popular.”
Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration at the Council, said: “This event has already made itself a stand out fixture on the food festival programme after such great feedback from 2014. It brings thousands into the town and there is a real buzz as visitors get great ideas for meals from our top chefs as well as the chance to sample some excellent products.”
The event runs from 10am until 4pm and all the entertainment in the Square is free. More information from www.staffordbc.gov.uk or www.stafford-towncentre.co.uk/cheeseandale.htm