Organiser hits back on future of StrEat Food Festival in Harrogate

Harrogate's StrEat Food Festival organiser Cathy McConaghy.
Harrogate's StrEat Food Festival organiser Cathy McConaghy.

The independent Harrogate businesswoman behind the recent StrEat Food Festival has hit back at critics with new announcements about the event's future.

Cathy McConaghy said the three-day feast of street food, family fun and live music has been a success - despite its move from its popular site at the town's Valley Gardens.

And she said the festival would be returning next year and it would be staying at its new location - the Yorkshire Event Centre at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

Cathy told the Harrogate Advertiser: "Overall the festival was a success. We had some amazing feedback about the event and looking forward to the next one...

"We’re very sorry about banning dogs but it’s the policy on the showground and we tried to let as many people know in advance as possible...

"In relation to food traders prices, we can’t set their prices but think that the public bought the most value for money. Over-priced traders didn’t do as well.

"We really have to get over Valley Gardens and move on. We gave the public a number of opportunities to speak up and support it but they didn’t.

"We can make this festival bigger and better with more flexibility and professional event teams.

"It was not a disaster by any stretch... we saw plenty of smiling faces!"

Members of the public have also backed Cathy on social media.

Jem Henderson posted on the Harrogate Advertiser Facebook page:

"What a bunch of miserable people. The street food festival was excellent. There's a bus that goes past the site. Parking facilities were excellent and 5 quid is nothing in the grand scheme of things. The Senegal and Caribbean food stalls were exceptionally good, 7 quid for a whole tasting menu meal!"

And in Lucy Barrow, founder of Indie Biz Collective for Harrogate and Knaresborough, posted:

"The reason it’s not at the Valley Gardens is because they can’t hold it there anymore!

The reason there were no dogs is because that’s the Yorkshire Showground policy!!

I think the event was great, some amazing food options, reasonably priced entry, etc etc.

"This town does like to moan!"