A COMMENT by luxury cake maker Alana Spencer, the 2016 winner of TV’s The Apprentice on her website could be behind Alcester Food Festival becoming a major tourist attraction.
That’s the view of food festival organiser Alison Brown after she was contacted by a tour party from Taiwan asking where they could park their bus for the event.
“Alana used to come to the festival and she’s said how good it is, but I was astonished when we were asked where a party of 49 tourists from Taiwan could park their coach,” said Alison.
“I tried to speak to some of them but I don’t think their English was that good.
“Mind you we ran our usual competition to find out who had come the furthest and it was someone from New South Wales. Admittedly they had some connections in the area but they’d timed their trip to coincide with the festival.”
The chances are though that they all loved every second they were in the Warwickshire market town.
The twice yearly food festival is now a major event on the calendar pulling in 130 stall holders offering everything from street food to cheese, condiments and alcohol to this year a firm specialising in recyclable straws and reusable collapsible coffee cups.
“The problem we have now is that we simply cannot fit more stalls in – we’d have to extend to Studley to do it,” said Alison.
“We are at capacity and you look at the companies that come and they are all absolutely excellent and the quality is superb.”
The festival has grown to the extent that many visitors, having had a ‘taste’ of the town are telling their friends and coming back themselves.
“We’ve found it’s bringing people back to Alcester – they’re saying ‘we didn’t know you had free parking or a Waitrose here’ so there is a knock-on effect,” added Alison.
As usual proceeds from the event will be distributed to local good causes like Alcester in Bloom, the Scouts and Litter Free Alcester.
Festival organisers are currently takign a break before planning next year’s events, on May 18 and October 19.
“We’re all volunteers here and we rely on the goodwill of so many people to make it a success,” said Alison.