Saturday 16th April saw Gorseinon celebrate its second food festival in great style. The organiser’s wishes for sunny weather were granted and the festival was very busy when I arrive mid-morning.
Last year they had about 25 food stalls and around 4,000 visitors through the gate. This year, word had spread about this great event and some traders sadly had to be turned away as there was no way they could fit any more stands in.
With plenty of True Taste Winners there, it meant that the Welsh Assembly Government, WAG, did support this event with some much-needed funding. I still believe that WAG should let the organsiers know much earlier about funding, they simply don’t need the extra financial pressure when they have so much to plan and sort out.
Regular readers of welshfoodbites and Welsh Country magazine will know how much I like to see tables and chairs available for visitors to sit down have a drink, food and ice-creams in comfort. Well Gorseinon did a great job on this one, making good use of the centre of their large marquee. Plenty of families took advantage of the sunshine to move outside and picnic on the grass. Maybe some table and chairs out there too might be an idea for next year, but appreciate that often there’s no money left to hire these in.
Although the cost of hiring the True Taste mobile kitchen was not acceptable, it did not deter the organising team who sorted out their own kitchen and got local cooks and chefs to show off their skills. There was also plenty of entertainment to keep the children happy – which is always a huge bonus.
We had lots of our Best Of Welsh & Borders, BOW producers there and I’m safest not giving any name checks in case I leave anyone out! I find it really useful being able to have a quick word with our BOW as I do get a true impression of what the event is like from their side. It’s so important that organisers get feed-back from these guys and really listen to it, because without them we’d have no festivals. So the general feeling was a real positive for busy, one day festivals, rather than a two-day one when Sunday is often too quiet to keep treaders smiling! This makes sense and again it’s something organisers need to address if they’re planning a two-day festival. The other concern I pondered on, was as 2010 was so busy and successful, it was understandable that the Gorseinon organisational team wanted this year to be even bigger and better, well they certainly seemed to achieve that. I’m still waiting to hear news from the traders after they have cashed up and compared to last year, bearing in mind that visitors don’t bring any extra money with them because the festival is larger, so it’s vital that if stand numbers are increased visitor numbers must increase considerably too – let’s hope that happened.
So my congratulations to the friendly and enthusiastic organisers, who put in an enormous amount of work. They were all volunteers and put on a really good event. The variety and quality of food and craft stands was impressive.
I didn’t see anyone from WAG in attendance to see how their funding was spent, but I approved and my verdict is keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing you again next year. WAG owes your team a big thank-you too for showcasing so well the best of Welsh food.