The prolonged wet weather this summer has forced the planning committee of the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival to re-locate the festival to the Royal Manx Agricultural Show ground at Knockaloe Farm, Patrick.
Despite the current good weather, the car parking field at the festival’s original site at the Nunnery remains wet and is unlikely to dry out in time.
With little alternative car parking nearby and the difficulty of setting up the festival without churning up the gardens, alternative sites in and around Douglas were checked but none was available. The decision to move to the drier land at Knockaloe has therefore been taken.
Knockaloe will provide a scenic backdrop to the festival and there is plenty of space for easy car parking and all of the festival marquees.
The festival will still take place on September 22 and 23, opening at 10am and closing at 5pm with last admissions at 4pm.
Festival activities are unchanged with celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott on Saturday, a full programme of demonstrations from local chefs, the finals of the ‘I Love Manx Chef of the Year’competition, lots of activities for families, producer marquee and farmers’ market with a wide range of local produce to taste and buy, the Farm in the Festival maze, great food and drink and lots more.
Agriculture Minister Phil Gawne MHK said: ‘We very much regret having to change locations but it is important that we find the best way to run a truly enjoyable festival for everyone.
‘The only other alternative would have been to cancel the event and we wanted to avoid this as the festival is an increasingly popular event in the Isle of Man’s show and festival calendar. Knockaloe is an excellent site and I am sure that the festival this year will build on its growing reputation as the premier event for celebrating local Manx produce.
‘It promises to provide plenty to see and do so I hope that lots of people will plan a day out at the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival at Knockaloe.’
Details of buses from Douglas will be listed on the festival website.