New home for popular Stratford Food Festival

By IH Wednesday 16 January 2013 Updated: 16/01 12:26

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STRATFORD Food Festival is expanding with the aim of attracting 20,000 visitors to the town.

Organisers, Showplace Events, have announced Stratford Racecourse will host the 2013 festival on September 14 and 15.

Charlotte Parkin, at Showplace Events, said: “Last year, at the recreation ground, if we had suffered Sunday’s weather a day early, when the site became completely water-logged, we would have been forced to cancel the event.

"At the same time, we achieved the site visitor capacity on the first day, which was a fabulous endorsement. We have the recipe right – we have become a major attraction: now we need to progress away from the limitations of our old site and its water-logging risks.”

The new location has also been chosen for its easy access – avoiding the old site’s congestion around the Lower Clopton Bridge area – its free parking for exhibitors and visitors, and for being relatively weather-proof.

For 2013, the organisers have plans to improve the event for both visitors and exhibitors. They also aim to attract more exhibitors, many of them local, ranging from cheesemakers to tea companies, alongside Stratford pubs and hotels.

Charlotte added: “It’s only a few years since the event had to be rescued from financial ruin. Now, with the continued involvement of town traders and supporters, we aim to continue to grow, on a sound commercial footing, and realise our ambition to be one of the UK’s finest food events and a showcase for Stratford businesses and the entire town.

“While we’re disappointed to have to leave the recreation ground, the upside is that the racecourse offers us a long-term home and an exciting expansion opportunity, avoiding traffic chaos and being able to cope with wet weather.”

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