Welcome to Abergavenny Food Festival 2014. Last year ended on a high when the Festival was awarded 'Best Event in Wales' by the National Tourism Awards for Wales. That accolade is shared by the huge number of people who contribute to the event in various ways: the core team, board, sponsors, funders and many other people in the town who all give their time and talents to keep the show on the road. So we've set the bar pretty high for 2014.
For those of you who are new to the Festival, here's how it works. The five market venues in the centre of town are all accessed on a Stroller Ticket (wristband) with free entry to children under 16 if accompanied by an adult. Within these venues (outdoor and indoor) are over 200 carefully selected top-notch exhibitors, showcasing the best of Wales, The Marches and further afield.
There's also a rolling programme of chef demonstrations in the Market Hall, a children's Food Academy at the Castle (sponsored by Organic Centre Wales), and plenty of other entertainment too.
On the Saturday night we have our first ever Night Market with a brilliant collection of street food traders and as well as non-catering produce stalls; a magical place to eat, drink and hang out, and all accessed on your Stroller ticket.
Alongside this we have a some very special events (all individually ticketed). Some of the brightest lights of the food world will be joining us over the weekend and sharing their creativity and expertise. It's a chance to take your culinary skills to another level by learning first-hand from the masters. Download a 'diary at a glance' to help plan your visit. Last year many of these events sold out. Don't miss the boat. Be sure to buy your tickets online well in advance.
If you're a Festival regular, you'll see some changes to the way we have presented the programme with a separate page for each performer giving event details, a bit of background, and information on their latest books. There will be book-signing sessions at the venues and at our bookstall in the Market Hall.
When you arrive, be sure to pick up a copy of our free 80-page Guide which contains everything you need to make the most of your visit including venue maps, exhibitor listings and features on performers and producers.
If you'd like to be kept up to date on what's happening in the run-up to the weekend, then do sign up to our e.news bulletins, facebook, twitter and blog. We'll have lots of interesting stories to share about our producers and performers, as well as new elements to the Festival experience as things firm up.
We very much look forward to having you join us here in Abergavenny for a weekend of fun and feasting – whatever the weather.
The Abergavenny Food Festival is a social enterprise and is run on a not-for-profit basis. Its remit is to promote food growers and processors, cooks, campaigners artists and writers who in different ways celebrate the craft, diversity and culture of food. In doing so the organisation seeks to contribute to the regeneration of Abergavenny and the surrounding area and to bring benefits to the wider community. All funds raised (aside from a percentage set aside for the administration of the Festival) are reinvested into future events.