A TASTE of West Cork Food Festival has been named Festival of the Year at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards.
The judges awarded the organisers the prize last Thursday because they believe there is nothing quite like this festival anywhere else in the country, for its appeal and the diversity of its programme.
This year – between September 9th and 18th – 188 events in 32 towns and villages and eight islands throughout West Cork were sold out in record time.
Festival chairperson Helen Collins said: ‘There is no denying that the 2016 festival was an outstanding success – not because we say so, but because we received overwhelmingly positive feedback, and there was 100% attendance at every event.’
Part of the success of the festival can be attributed to the fact that it has developed strong partnerships with various towns and villages, but it has also attracted the loyalty and support of the award-winning food producers and tourism providers.
People enjoy the festival because it has something for everyone – including fabulous free tours to Galley Head, West Cork Distillers and Field’s Bakery – as well as a highly eclectic range of events organised by local and visiting chefs.
It has been estimated that 16,000 people attended this year’s festival with nearly half of these coming from outside Cork county or from oversees. Such was the demand that Helen Collins admitted there simply wasn’t enough accommodation available, which is a great complaint.
The Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Seamus McGrath said he was ‘absolutely elated’ that the festival had won the overall award in what was a highly competitive category.