Artisan food, interactive cookery demonstrations with TV celebrity chef James Tanner plus lots of fun activities for all the family are just some of the highlights of this year’s Comber Earlies Food Festival, which takes place at The Square and St. Mary’s Church car park in Comber on Saturday 29 June.
Organised by Ards and North Down Borough Council in partnership with Comber Earlies Growers’ Association and Food NI, the one-day event is free to attend and is one of the finest free food and drink events of its kind in the borough.
It’s a celebration of local food and is held in honour of the unique Comber Earlies potatoes, which have enjoyed Protected Geographical Indication status since 2012. The potatoes, which are grown around the town of Comber, are prized for their distinctive earthy, nutty flavour and smooth, soft skin…and are best served with a knob of butter and sprinkle of salt!
“The festival will showcase the quality and diversity of locally and regionally produced food,” said Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery. “There will be something on offer for everyone, with entertainment for all the family as well as good food to satisfy all tastes.”
The Festival programme is packed full of activities for all ages. Children can enjoy potato themed crafts, the Ark Farm Animal Roadshow, street theatre as well as the Jump, Jiggle and Jive interactive children’s dancing.
There will be a vintage tractor display plus music by the Cleland Memorial Band, Lily of the Valley Accordion Band and the Comber Silver Band.
However, the real focus will be on the delightful food on offer. While James Tanner provides some cookery displays, the artisan food market will cater for all tastes and everyone can relax and eat in the hay bale picnic area.
The one-day event is being supported by a week-long Comber Earlies Fringe Festival organised by the Comber Regeneration Partnership Community. It includes a selection of events such as the Comber School Olympics, the Festival Queen barbeque and dance, a treasure hunt, boxing demonstrations, storytelling, walking tours and more.
The Comber Earlies Food Festival will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 29 June with the Fringe Festival taking place from Friday 21 June to Tuesday 2 July. More information can be found online at www.bit.ly/comberearliesfestival
Photo Caption: Chairman of Comber Earlies Growers Association, Richard Orr, with the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery. Picture: Simon Graham