Ballantrae tastes success with first food festival

Celebrity Kirsty Wark, with some of the local children.
Celebrity Kirsty Wark, with some of the local children.

Ballantrae’s first food and drink festival scored a roaring success at the weekend with writer and broadcaster Kirsty Wark the star guest at the community run event.

The event was organised by the Ballantrae Development Group (a sub group of the Community Council) and their friends.

Over 3800 people visited the festival, some queuing for over half an hour in strong winds to get in because the marquee was at capacity and the organisers had to regulate numbers.

Great work was done by the Ballantrae volunteers managing the car parking, staffing the reception desk and in the clear up team.

Students from Ayr College surveyed stallholders and customers to establish what they thought of the festival and there was great support from stallholders may of whom sold out.

The event was supported financially by the Community Food fund and South Ayrshire Council.

The event aimed to reflect the growing popularity of high quality food produced locally.

Ayrshire led the way in introducing farmers’ markets to Scotland and the festival hopes to build on that success.

Tourism is crucial to the economy of the area and research has shown that three out of four people think that eating local cuisine enhances their visit to Scotland.

Writer and broadcaster Kirsty Wark demonstrated her cookery skills, using a special locally found ingredient foraged for her by Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods.

As well as a full afternoon’s menu of demonstrations, there were pop-up restaurants from Glenapp Castle, Marrbury Smokehouse and Drumbreddan Hog Roast, live music by Pulse Jazz Combo and an array of stalls selling fresh food and drink.