Don’t miss Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival

Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival

Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival - Credit: Archant

Fun kicks off today (Friday) with fringe events to whet your appetites

Saira Hamilton and Tina Chauhan-Challis demonstrating their skills at last year's Ottery St Mary Foo

Saira Hamilton and Tina Chauhan-Challis demonstrating their skills at last year's Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival. Ref sho 5711-25-14SH Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

A fusion of culinary delights, cultural experiments, creativity and cooking is on the menu at this year’s ‘unmissable’ Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival.

Now in its fourth year, the annual event on Saturday is a true community celebration, bringing together the best of local produce, chefs, entertainment and talent of all ages.

Set to be bigger and better than ever, the festival will benefit from a traffic-free town centre for the first time ever this year and there is a whole programme of fringe events to whet your appetites.

Kicking off today (Friday), Coldharbour Farm Shop will be hosting a special tasting afternoon and is inviting visitors to pop into the Slade Road premises, where they can enjoy a vast array of fresh, seasonal, local delights.

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The popular Tap into Tapas is the go-to event in the main marquee, in Sainsbury’s car park, from 6pm tonight, followed by live music by the Keystonez in the Volunteer Inn, Broad Street from 9pm.

Saturday will see a fit-to-bursting programme starting with a performance by Ottery St Mary Silver Band to open the festival in the main marquee at 9.45am, and followed by cooking demonstrations with talented students from The King’s School.

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Highlights throughout the day include pasty making with Chunk of Devon; a samosa challenge with Ottery’s own samosa lady Tina Chauhan; and a little bit of France in East Devon with Francois Teissier of the Golden Lion, Tipton St John.

Ottery’s Rusty Pig will be celebrating the occasion with a selection of cheeky fizz provided by Christopher Piper Wines, accompanied by canapés.

Organiser Ruud Jansen Vennoboer said: “Every year we are hoping to make it slightly better than in previous years and we hope we have achieved that.

“The pedestrianised market will hopefully be a major aspect of it.”

The market, which will be held — for the first time — in the heart of the town, offers a vast array of goods, from African delights to East Devon cupcakes, West Country cheeses, fresh smoothies, local ciders, chillis and more.

A packed children’s programme includes hands-on activities in The Institute, the Great Ottery Bake-off, with judging in The Institute at 2pm, and an ‘Ottery Goes Bananas’ treasure hunt throughout the town.

Otter Nurseries is the event’s main sponsor once again.

Marketing manager Sabine Taylor said: “The festival is an unmissable event on the Ottery calendar now.

“It is so good for the town, bringing lots of visitors in - and it’s a lovely event for local families to enjoy too.”

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