Bolton Food and Drink Festival has picked up another national award for having the best food market in the country.
The festival won the ‘Best Market Attraction’ category at the British Market of the Year Awards in Birmingham yesterday (Thursday, January 31).
The competition is organised by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA), and the winner was judged by a panel of industry experts.
In 2017, the festival scooped the NABMA award for having the ‘Best Food Market’.
Bolton Food and Drink Festival is organised by Bolton Council, in association with Aldi, and the four-day foodie spectacular takes place annually on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
The event sees celebrity chefs delivering cookery demonstrations in the town centre, amid a backdrop of artisan food stalls, children’s activities and free street entertainment.
The 2018 festival celebrated its 13th anniversary last year and attracted a record breaking 270,000 visitors.
People travelled from as far afield as France and all across the UK to sample food and drink from 180 traders, and watch top chefs in action.
The market opens daily throughout the festival and takes over the town centre, with stalls located on Victoria Square, Newport Street, Oxford Street, Deansgate, Market Street, Hotel Street and Corporation Street.
Foodie highlights in the market included: event favourites Bowlands Pork, Beef and Lamb and The Garlic Farm, brownies and cakes by 2016 Apprentice winner Alana Spencer, traditional hotdogs from Grandad’s sausages, ice cream rolls from The Ice Alchemists and African street food from Bolton Market trader Alain Job, who owns food stall Nkono.
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with this award. Bolton Food and Drink Festival really is one of the best in the country.
“The range and quality of our many traders for last year's festival was fantastic, and feedback from our traders was overwhelmingly positive.
“A lot of them ask to come back year on year. We attract some great local and regional producers as well as from all over the country.
“We are already working on our plans for 2019 and looking forward to another brilliant festival.
Virgil Simpson, Logistics Director at Aldi UK, added: “This award reflects the hard work that’s gone into putting on a fantastic event for the Bolton community over the years.
“We’re incredibly proud to be a part of this team of organisers and traders, and can’t wait for this year’s festival in August – our fifth in a row as sponsor.”
Traders have previously described the festival as the best in the country. David Howells from the Cumbrian Pie Company said along with the Manchester Christmas Markets, the festival is “the best and most profitable event we do all year.”
For more information about the event visit www.boltonfoodanddrinkfestival.com, follow Bolton Food and Drink Festival page on Facebook, @boltonfoodfest on Twitter or Instagram.
Festival sponsors: Aldi; Stateside Foods, and Willmott Dixon. Event partners: Arts Council; Bolton Library and Museum Services; Bolton Market; Carrs Pasties; Crompton Place Shopping Centre; Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery; Impression; Little Diamond Theatre Company; Market Place Shopping Centre; Recycle for Greater Manchester; RRG Group Ltd, and Slattery.