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Festival indulges in banquet of foodie treats

[T]his year’s annual Eden Food & Farming Festival kicks off on Saturday 21st July with Penrith on a Plate (POAP), a free event in Penrith Town Centre where foodie families can enjoy a wide variety of food and drink, brilliant local music and fun and entertainment for the younger generation.

The week-long Eden Food & Farming Festival, organised by Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce, aims to promote all of the fabulous food and drink producers in the Penrith and Eden area.

Penrith on a Plate will not only have over 40 food & drink stalls but there will be a ‘spread’ of fabulous entertainment on offer, with local musicians and bands, such as Birkmere Stonkers, Hardwick Circus and a host of local buskers. Amongst the entertainment for younger visitors there will be street entertainment, a jester, a stilt-walker, and good old fashioned fun with Punch and Judy.

The Westmorland Agricultural Society will be in attendance with their urban farm, where visitors can see farm animals and find out more about the origins of their food.

Further into the festival week, the festival programme will feature diverse events such as meeting the piglets session, a tour round a dairy farm, bee-keeping at Acorn Bank and a ‘evening bash’ at Brunswick Yard.

Chair of the festival organising committee Richard Utting, said “The ‘starter’ for Eden Food & Farming Festival is Penrith on a Plate, the main course is a programme of events to promote local food, and the pudding is Penrith Show!  Between those two large-scale events, we’re building a diverse programme of smaller events, all related in some way to food or farming in the Eden area.”

Richard continued “We’re delighted to welcome over 30 local independent businesses such as J&J Grahams, Cumberland Mustard, Hallsford Catering, Tickety Boo Jam, The Lemon Tree Café and Maggie’s Bakery, to name just a few. However, we can probably squeeze in a couple more if there are any late bookers!’

Visitors can enjoy a variety of offers across the district with a festival wristband available for £2 from local retailers in advance and on the day at Penrith on a Plate. Restaurants and cafes, shops and businesses are dishing up discounts and special offers for wristband holders, from freebies to BOGOFs. Possession of a wristband also entitles the holder to free family entertainment including a fairground ride, face painting, balloon modelling and candyfloss from the Penrith Lottery stand.

This year’s event is sponsored by Chapter 12 Coffee Rooms on Little Dockray, which opened in March. Proprietor Paul Gibson said ‘At Chapter 12 we try to use as much local produce as possible so it’s an ideal fit for us – it’s a local event that we want to support, there are mutual benefits and it brings people in to Penrith, not just on the day but throughout the year.’

Full festival details including Penrith on a Plate stalls and schedule; Eden Food Festival event programme and the wristband are on edenfoodfestival.org.

Eden Food & Farming Festival is funded by Penrith Town Council, Penrith Business Improvement District and the Pride in Penrith Lottery, with support from Eden District Council.

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