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National Food Festival vs. Local Farmer’s Market

July 17, 2012



The past two weekends Ben and I have been trying to get out a bit more and do some exploring. And I like to combine food with my outings as much as possible, so two weekends ago, I found tickets on Groupon to go to a national travelling food festival. It was going to be in a lovely park near Ben’s parents’ house and we were going back to his parents’ for the weekend, so we figured that with such cheap tickets we couldn’t go wrong.

Boy, were we wrong.

The mud to food ratio was incredibly high. These pictures don’t do it justice, but in places the mud was ankle deep. And unfortunately, either due to bad planning or heavy foot traffic during the two previous days of the festival, the areas we wanted to get to were the areas with the deepest mud.

Some people did manage to stake out bits of less muddy ground, but these areas were away from the interesting food areas. And we couldn’t even get near the cooking masterclasses due to long lines and deep mud.

Anyway, the weather couldn’t be helped, but even aside from that, this food festival just felt a bit soul-less to me. The tickets were expensive, you had to pay to park on top of the entry fee, and all of the stalls had expensive, fancy food. Maybe I should have known better, but I was not impressed.

Last weekend, on the other hand, we went to a local Farmer’s Market in Sheffield. The weather cooperated, and it was so much fun!

This little market featured local food and craft producers, the food was very reasonably priced and looked delicious, the people were friendly, and it was on a paved street so there was no need for rain boots! There was no entrance fee, no parking fee, and we spent a total of £1.40 for a lovely afternoon and six local free range eggs.

Food festival prices: Admission – £10/person (without Groupon), Parking – £5/car, Losing an hour of our lives – not quite priceless but worth a lot.

Farmer’s market prices: Admission – free, Parking – free, Six fresh, local free-range eggs – saved 45 pence (they would cost this much more for Tesco eggs), An hour of enjoyment – worth a lot.

I’ve learned my lesson!


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