Town hosts first harvest festival

Chocolate workshops will be hosted by Gillian Warden
Chocolate workshops will be hosted by Gillian Warden

Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway’s Food Town, will host its first ever Harvest Food Festival this weekend, during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.

The two day festival will see the traditional market town packed with delicious events, activities and festivities that are designed to celebrate the produce of the town’s host region.

Castle Douglas will host its first ever Harvest Food Festival.

Castle Douglas will host its first ever Harvest Food Festival.

Taking place on 9th and 10th September Castle Douglas food and drink businesses will take centre stage.

Castle Douglas is famed for its large number of traditional butchers, and local meat is the headline event on the Saturday with a Food Town Burger Challenge that challenges competitors to scoff 3 burgers from three of the town’s butchers, totalling 36oz of top quality meat, in a time trial.

An inspiring line up of chefs are also on the menu, amongst them Billy Boyter, Scotland’s newest Michelin starred chef, from The Cellar at Anstruther. He’ll be joined by Scottish Chef of the Year, Ian McAndrew from the Blackaddie in Sanquhar; Martin Avey of Del Amitri at Powfoot and Castle Douglas chef Carlo Bignami of Carlos.

Castle Douglas is also home to a number of craft drink producers, and thirsty festival goers are set to enjoy craft beers, a cider bar and a gin palace – each hosted by local businesses. There are also jam and chutney making demonstrations from By Heck!, honey bee keeping from John Lockwood and a butchery demonstration from town butcher Tom Grierson. There will be a baking workshop from Annette’s Baking Bee and chocolate making with Gillian Warden of In House Chocolates.

The festival links into the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 by hosting a vintage vehicle display and by explaining Castle Douglas’ rich food and agricultural heritage with a talk by local historian Alistair Livingston. Live local music will be provided by Tiderays, Ward and Watson, Nicola Black, Sal Cam and ukefrolics.

Chair of the Castle Douglas Development Forum who organised the festival, Sarah-Jane Allsop, said: “Castle Douglas has a proud history as a food destination, traditional market town and as an agricultural community. This festival seeks to celebrate all the different food elements of our town at a time of year when the natural bounty of our landscape is most evident.

“This is hopefully the first of many Harvest Food Festivals for Castle Douglas. We have been thrilled with the response to it by local businesses and local people and our rich local larder means we have lots of ideas for developing and expanding the event in future years, while keeping the emphasis firmly on the Dumfries and Galloway region.”

Lorna Young of regional food and drink organisation DG Food and Drink said: “It seems only fitting that Castle Douglas, our region’s food town, should host its new food festival during the heart of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the wealth of food and drink we have in our region.

“The organisers are to be congratulated for pulling together such a delicious line up of events and activities and I hope both local people and visitors to our region give it their full support.”