As most local folk know, it's Marple Food and Drink Festival tommorrow, Saturday 25 September.
BUT did you know that for the first time ever there will also be stalls on Stockport Road from the "Jolly Sailor" traffic lights to Yeates Garage, where the road will be closed.
Marple welcomes back its popular Food and Drink Festival on Saturday September 25th (10am-4pm) after the 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Organisers Craig Wright and Cllr Malcolm Allan hope the 2021 event will be bigger and better than ever. Stallholders are being signed up and organisers hope that many of Marple's new businesses, with their own specialities, will support the event. Craig Wright said:
Plans are progressing for one of Marple's favourite events to make a comeback provided, of course, all Covid restrictions are relaxed. Many local businesses have pop-up stalls on the day and since the 2019 festival, we have new cafes and bars in the town, so hopefully they'll wish to get involved. Local businesses are keen to see the event return and are organising gazebos and cover in case of inclement weather. We can't control the weather but we are sure it will be a great day and another step forward in getting everything back to normal "
Organisers hope to extend the festival beyond Market Street and are looking into whether part of Stockport Rd could be closed to traffic to allow businesses to welcome visitors across a larger area.
Stallholders from the popular Make It Marple organisation plan to get involved and hold their normal monthly market as usual on Market Street. Kala Walsh from Make It Marple said:
Stallholders want to be involved with their food and craft stalls including knitwear, pet products, dried foods, jewellery, and upcycling. "We have an eclectic mix of stallholders and re-started our normal markets in June and July. There won't be a Make It Marple in August, but we'll be back in September at the festival. There's always a nice atmosphere at our markets and after September, we're hoping for a straight run through to Christmas."
Craig, who founded the festival in 2007, also said:
There will also be musical entertainment from Marple Brass Band, and it's hoped to run the popular busking competition. There are plans for a cake/pie making competition: "We're hoping for a big response from local businesses and anyone who wants to have a stall should contact me on 07790 539826 to book a place. This will be the first major event in Marple for some time and we want the town, its businesses, and people to feel regenerated and back to normal. It promises to be a great day, so come along and get involved."
Cllr Malcolm Allan added:
With the lifting of Covid restrictions, we're ready for a big community event. The festival is eagerly anticipated and will give people a great reason to get together in our town centre and celebrate the wonderful independent retailers who worked so hard to keep going throughout the pandemic."
Here's a few photos by Arthur Procter, showing the kind of thing you have to look forward to:
For more photos from last year visit the Marple Website Virtual History Tour.