A record 10,000 people attended the 2016 Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival – beating the previous record by nearly 3,000.
The event, held in the Villa Marina Gardens on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September and sponsored by Magnet IoM Ltd, is a showcase of the finest Manx produce.
Last year just over 7,000 people flocked to the festival – equalling the number of visitors in the event’s first year, when TV stars The Hairy Bikers proved a big draw.
Richard Ronan, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
‘This year’s event had even more stands to enjoy, including 12 first-time exhibitors, plenty of opportunities to sample local food and drink, lots for all the family to do plus an extended entertainment programme.
‘The festival’s popularity reflects the growth in Isle of Man food and drink, being driven by my Department’s Food Matters strategy, and the growing desire among people to support local food and drink producers and businesses.
‘Although hosted by DEFA, the event only happens as a result of tremendous teamwork and hard work right across the food and drink sector. Everyone from the volunteer committee to our all-important sponsors, producers, retailers, caterers and other volunteers come together to make the event the highlight of the calendar it is.’
There was a high standard among the 60 exhibitors, making the job of choosing the best stand difficult for the Minister and BBC presenter and celebrity farmer Gareth Wyn Jones, the guest of honour at the festival.
They awarded the accolade to BallaKarran Meat Company.
Visitors are invited to give their feedback on the festival via www.gov.im/food
Feedback so far has highlighted that the festival is a great day out and praised the wide variety of local produce on sale, the opportunity to meet producers and the relaxed atmosphere.
For year-round updates about the festival, like the Facebook page Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival 2016, following @iomfoodanddrink on Twitter or visit http://iomfoodanddrink.com/