Crowds arrive for Valley Gardens' food festival

Cathy McConaghy, organiser of the second annual StrEat Food & Family Fun Festival in the Valley Gardens. (1708221AM1)
Cathy McConaghy, organiser of the second annual StrEat Food & Family Fun Festival in the Valley Gardens. (1708221AM1)

The weather is looking good for the thousands of people who are expected to pour into the Valley Gardens from today, Friday for the StrEat Food & Family Fun Festival.

Returning for a second time, the weather is predicted to remain dry across the bank holiday weekend in Harrogate with Saturday set to be a bit of a scorcher.
And this founder of this popular event says the town is already “buzzing.”
Organised once again by Harrogate independent catering businesswoman Cathy McConaghy, this highlight of the summer will run for four days from tomorrow to Monday, August 28.
Cathy said: “The buzz in town is incredible already. We can’t believe it’s been a whole year already but are super excited to be back in Valley Gardens this weekend.
“We’ve got some amazing new traders and amazing new performers plus some of our favourites from last year.
“Harrogate really is the on the map for street food now.”
Forecasters are saying each of the festival's four days will be dry but cloudy with the best chance of sunshine on Saturday.
This popular four-day celebration of some of the best street food from around the world, combined with fun and funky entertainment for all the family, enjoyed a hugely successful launch last year with more than 100,000 people descending on the town’s beautiful Valley Gardens .
Organisers are promising there’s even more to discover at this year’s festival.
Visitors this year will be served street food from more than 60 handpicked traders alongside music, quirky entertainment from street performers and children’s activities.
The music will include leading Big Beat DJ Rory Hoy who will be performing on Friday and Saturday from 8pm to 10pm and Monday from 6.45pm to 9pm.
Complementing the street food traders will be a new Artisan Market featuring around 30 top producers selling tasty products to try, buy and take home. The Craft Beer TeePee will also be back.
In a sign of her success, the Harrogate entrepreneur is also launching an additional StrEat Food & Family Fun Festival at Newby Hall in September with a glamping village and live music.
Star names set to appear include BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, boy band 5ive and Huey Morgan of Fun Lovin’ Criminals and BBC6 Music fame.
As for this weekend’s festival, everyone is hoping for better weather than last year.
There was controversy in the aftermath of the first event when some damage was caused to the Valley Gardens by heavy downpours.
But organiser Cathy is hopeful, saying “The sun is forecast, the deckchairs are stacked and ready and I can already smell the food preparation in the air!

Enjoying last year's  StrEat Food & Family Fun Festival in the Valley Gardens in Harrogate.

Enjoying last year's StrEat Food & Family Fun Festival in the Valley Gardens in Harrogate.