Over 10,000 attended as Accrington Food Festival returned in style for the first time since 2019 with spectacular attractions including international, regional and local food markets, 1940’s singers, a full-size Spitfire plane static display, a sensational war re-enactment and a kitchen demo area featuring TV star Molly Robbins and some amazing local businesses.
Molly, as seen on Netflix series “Extreme Cake Makers,” is an award winning cake artist and celebrity chef, and presented two different cakes in the main marquee, with her signature ‘Extreme’ cake decorating techniques. There was a Ready Steady Cook challenge with food from The Food Pantry, and cooking by Paul Fox from The Crafty Fox, Paul Sutton from Property Shop & Paul Maguire from North Lancs Training Group.
In their solo displays, North Lancs Training Group’s Hospitality Tutor, Paul Maguire, demonstrated pan fried Goosnargh chicken and wild mushroom and asparagus risotto. Paul Fox from Abbey Street’s The Crafty Fox created a warm pork scotch egg and hand made coleslaw, made from local produce.
The event also commemorated the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944. A replica full size Spitfire plane was on display in the Town Square, and drew many impressed visitors, alongside authentic military vehicles.
1940’s singers Christopher and the Robins performed in St James’ Church grounds, alongside a Cafe Rene hosted by NLTG’s Hospitality team with all the proceeds going to the church. Attendees were also treated to Allo Allo characters performing a very funny sketch with guest appearances!
Stephen Lowe from BBC Radio Lancashire hosted a really exciting war re-enactment that went down a storm with the crowd, which ended with a moving performance by the Lone Piper, from Accrington’s famous Pipe Band.
Visitors were encouraged to #ShopLocal and try out local suppliers, and there were also over 80 food, craft & drink stalls with goods from all over the world, a continental market on Broadway, and the Market Hall hosted local independent traders, entertainment, and cake decorating for children.
Gareth Lindsay, Managing Director at NLTG, said: “Hospitality is one of our key areas at NLTG, and we were delighted to be involved. We have lots of open vacancies and want to encourage people to train in this field of work. We got to showcase our expert tutors, have some fun hosting Café Rene, and give back to the Church at the same time!”
Steven Chippendale, Commercial Director at Property Shop, added: “What a superb event – fantastic to see Accrington full of people enjoying themselves and giving a boost to the local economy. We’re always happy to support the town and the events, and it’s great to meet lots of new people!”
Murray Dawson, Chair of Amazing Accrington, said: “Accrington Food Festival is one of the showcase events for Accrington, and draws visitors from all over the region. I’m delighted it was such a spectacular success, and it just keeps getting better and better!”
Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden, commented: “Today has blown me away, the town was absolutely buzzing with excitement. After the Queen’s Jubilee, today was a fitting tribute to D-Day and it was touching to see the Lone Piper again. I also champion #ShopLocal and it was great to see local independent businesses doing so well, alongside international guests who add to the overall attraction for visitors.”
Miles Parkinson OBE, Leader of Hyndburn Borough Council, added: “I’ve never seen the town so busy, what an incredible event today which has really given a boost to our local traders. Amazing Accrington have put on some amazing events over the years and the Food Festival gets more spectacular every year!”
You can see more photographs and videos on the Amazing Accrington website www.amazingaccrington.co.uk and look up their social media channels for more coverage from the event.