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West Waterford Festival of Food begins

The West Waterford Festival of Food begins today.

Over 35,000 visitors are expected to attend the 13th annual festival over the next three days, with more than 100 free and ticketed events for food lovers.

This year will feature local chefs Paul Flynn of The Tannery and Greg Harris of 360 Cookhouse, along with international guests Luis Martin, Head Chef at Mount Juliet’s Hunter’s Yard, and renowned Mexican-Irish chef Lily Ramirez-Foran.

The festival is a way to showcase the food of the region. It is Ireland's largest food festival and has been running annually in Dungarvan since 2008

Family fun

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Family-friendly events such as a Teddy Bear's Picnic and a food treasure hunt will be happening over the weekend.

There will also be a Glanbia Family Fun Zone from 11am-3pm on Saturday and Sunday, allowing kids to get up close and personal to animals, meet birds of prey and plant their own seedlings. The Fun Zone will also host the National Reptile Zoo Keepers, with animals ranging from pythons to gecko lizards and tarantulas to scorpions on show.

The Youthspace tent by WSTCYS Waterford Comhairle na nÓg, Dungarvan Youth Project and Day Youth Development Programme will provide a fun, safe space for young people with activities including climate action challenges and budget dinner ideas.

West Waterford Festival of Food CEO Maeve Quill said:

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"We especially hope to inspire the next generation of food lovers with an exciting variety of free family-friendly cookery demos and activities that will make aspiring young foodies appreciate and love food even more.”

Other events

Today, the Dungarvan Farmer's Market will be the first event of the weekend. From 9 until 1:30, a range of fresh and homemade items will be available.

The remainder of the day will include a tapas trail in both Dungarvan and Lismore, as well as a cooking demo and a chocolate masterclass.

On Saturday, there will be a sensory cooking class, a hill walk through the Comeraghs, and a blindfolded taste test.

A bake-off, picnic river cruise, and a sustainable lunch will all commence on Sunday.

Sustainable farming and food production practices will be showcased by Olympic walker and dairy farmer Jamie Costin; vegetable grower Mairead Costin; dairy and beef farmers, Stephen and Caitriona Fitzgerald; and Lismore Castle’s Head Gardener Darren Topps, who looks after the oldest continually cultivated gardens in Ireland. There will also be a woodland foraging walk with leading forager Andrew Malcolm.

For the full list of events taking place, see the West Waterford Festival of Food website.

Waterford City and County Council have issued a notice of road closures on Saturday and Sunday, to facilitate the event. More here.

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