'GREEN' MINISTER COUP FOR FOOD FESTIVAL
The Green Party’s Trevor Sargent T.D., Minister for Food, will attend this year’s Mitchelstown Food Festival, which takes place on Sunday week next, September 14 from 12pm-6pm at the Mitchelstown Business Park.
“This fantastic indoor location means that no matter what the weather, spirits will not be dampened,” said Claire Horgan of Ballyhoura Development. The launch of the 2008 food festival took place on this Wednesday, September 3 at Reidy’s SuperValu in Mitchelstown, and was attended by local politicians including Ned O’Keeffe TD and county Councillors Liam O’Doherty, Frank O Flynn, Kevin O’Keeffe and Aileen Pyne as well as newly appointed parish priest, Fr. Michael Fitzgerald.
The Mitchelstown Food Festival provides an opportunity to taste and buy the very best of local and specialty artisan foods. From sausages to organic meats, farmhouse cheeses, chutneys, handmade chocolates, breads and pastries, this year's festival promises a wide variety from local producers.
It is expected that over 40 stands of local and specialty foods will attend on the day, and there will be a chance to win a luxury break in the Dingle Skellig Hotel in a free gate ticket draw.
Other food festival attractions are a Bord Bia cookery demonstration and recipe sampling and a locally produced spit roasted pig, while organisers boast a bar offering champagne and premium Bavarian beers complete with music accompaniment. In addition there will be also a safe outdoor children’s play area with music and other activities.
Apart from the opportunity to sell their product to a large crowd, exhibitors will be in a position to avail of the Teagasc Product Development specialist available for consultation on the day, all the while vying for the Best Stand and Best Product accolades to be awarded at the festival.
The cost of tickets on the day will be €5 for an adult, with children under 14 admitted free. The night before organisers offer a celebration of local food produce at the Mitchelstown Food Festival gala dinner on Saturday 13th September.
TV celebrity chef, Clodagh McKenna, has devised a special menu incorporating a variety of the local food produce that Ballyhoura Country has to offer.
The evening will kick off with a champagne reception at 7pm followed by dinner at 8pm. The meal will be followed by live entertainment from Aidan Ahern and Jimmy O’Donoghue of ‘Maydai band’ which, organisers promise, will ensure dancing into the small hours of the night.
Tickets sales are at an advanced stage but limited numbers are still available from the Ballyhoura Office, Baldwin Street. Tickets are priced at €60 per person or €500 for a table of ten people.
Speaking at the launch, the chairman of the organising committee, Sean Hyland, said that this year’s festival promises to be the best yet.
“With upwards of 40 stands on the day we will have a fantastic variety,” Mr. Hyland said, “We extend a huge thanks to Michael Campbell of the business park for providing us with a great indoor arena with ample parking.”
Tom Dylan, representing the business park at the launch, said those involved with the facility welcomed the Mitchelstown Food Festival and were delighted to help. Alan Reidy of Reidy’s SuperValu remarked that the quality of the festival shows what can be accomplished when a community pulls together, adding much praise for Sean Hyland and the committee for putting together the event.
Carmel Fox of Ballyhoura said the festival can only have a positive outcome for the community in linking food and tourism in such an attractive manner. John Condon of the IFA stressed the importance of the local community supporting the festival and regional produce while Tom Whelton of the Mitchelstown Forum said it was appropriate for the town, as the home of good food, to celebrate such an event and commended Alan Reidy’s contribution to the community, which evoked a round of applause.
Ger Moylan, MC on the night, also thanked Pat Tangney for the use of The Firgrove Hotel while the committee were meeting during this year’s organisation stages of the much-anticipated festival.
Thursday 4th September 6:46pm