There is fun for all the family at next month’s Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival.
The event – a celebration of the diverse range of high quality Manx produce – takes place at the Villa Marina Gardens on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September.
The Manx Produce Marquee will be full of food producers offering tastes of, and selling, their wares.
In the Manx Cookery Theatre there is a packed programme of demonstrations, including Ladies in Pigs, the festival’s special guests, who will demonstrate their prowess with locally-reared pork.
A children’s marquee will allow young visitors to have fun with food, while Farm at the Festival will feature cows being milked and goats and calves to stroke. The Children’s Centre-run marquee will run a family quiz and a dozen gnomes will be hidden around the festival for families to search for.
For festival-goers who work up an appetite and a thirst, there will be a wide choice of eateries serving food and drink, including the festival bar, run by CAMRA volunteers, and plenty of space to sit, enjoy refreshments and listen to music on the live stage.
A new feature of the festival is Tent Up Top, located above the Villa Marina Colonnade, a collaboration between The Alpine restaurant and lewislewis cocktail bar.
With Manx craft and other producers in the colonnade and a farmers’ market, there is plenty of chance to support local businesses.
The festival will continue into Saturday evening, when there will be live music, the bars will be open and there will be demonstrations from leading restaurants and, a festival first, a hotdog-eating competition sponsored by Dave’s Delicious Dogs.
On the Sunday, the Manx Cookery Theatre hosts the finals of the Isle of Man Chef of the Year and Student Chef of the Year competitions, with competitors going head to head to see who can make the most inventive use of Manx produce.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
‘The Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival is a splendid showcase for the ever-increasing range of Manx produce.
‘The festival forms a really important part of our drive to increase the value of Isle of Man food and drink to the economy.
‘It offers two action-packed days out, with the chance to taste and take home food and drink, get new recipe ideas, enjoy demonstrations, take part in events and win prizes.’
Last year, the festival attracted more than 10,000 visitors.
Tickets cost just £4 (day) and £5 (weekend) for adults, with admission free for under 16s. Saturday and weekend tickets include re-admission on Saturday evening.
Tickets can be booked via www.villagaiety.com or purchased on the gate.
On Saturday 16th September, a free Mann Sightseeing shuttle bus runs from The Bowl car park, Pulrose, to the festival, departing on the hour from 10am to 4pm and returning on the half hour. Many buses from the south of the Island also pass the Villa Marina Gardens.
There will be the chance to win a hamper of Isle of Man food and drink by filling in a visitor survey at/after the show.
For more information about the festival, visit www.gov.im/food, follow the festival on Facebook via Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival 2017, on Twitter @iomfoodanddrink and on Instagram at isleofmanfoodanddrink.