Crowds flocked to Queen Mother Square in Poundbury for the annual Dorset Food & Arts Festival on Saturday 5th August. The free event is now in its sixth year and saw more than 50 stalls showcasing some of the region's finest produce. Large and well-established Dorset companies rubbed shoulders with artisan producers whilst visitors had the opportunity to view cooking demonstrations, taste samples and shop for a range of items unique to the county. Festival patron and celebrity chef, Lesley Waters, opened the event and then cooked up a storm in the demonstration kitchen using local ingredients which could be sourced from the surrounding stallholders.
Katie Slade, Chairman of Dorset Food & Arts Festival says: “On behalf of the festival committee I would like to thank all the visitors to the festival for their amazing support despite some very heavy rain showers.” The rain certainly failed to dampen the spirits of those in attendance with many people using the opportunity to visit a new art exhibition which was held in Jubilee Hall. It featured paintings, ceramics and photography from the Dorset art community as well as hosting a demonstration by one of the country's most-celebrated potters, Bill Crumbleholme. Visitors to the festival were also able to enjoy live music and entertainment from Tim Laycock and the Ridgeway Singers, Dorchester Performing Arts group, Amy and the Twins and a 12-piece band named Pop Club which is made up of local teenagers.
The festival is a partnership between The Duchy of Cornwall, Dorset Food and Drink, and Dorset Farmers’ Markets, with support from the county’s leading food and drink businesses and the Poundbury business community. Now in its sixth year, the event has raised thousands of pounds for Weldmar Hospicecare Trust and other local causes such as Fortuneswell Cancer Trust, the Dorchester Opportunity Group and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution. This year, the festival also produced the new Dorset Food & Arts Festival Recipe Book which went on sale for £5 and featured a collection of recipes in tribute to committee member and festival founder Jo Yeatman who sadly passed away in May. The book is still available to purchase from the festival website with proceeds going directly to the Dorset Farmers’ markets to continue Jo’s legacy for years to come. Katie Slade added: “The festival showcased incredible Dorset food and arts and was a fitting tribute to the lovely Jo Yeatman. We very much look forward to next year on Saturday, 4 August 2018.”
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