IT may have been a hectic five days, but the organisers of this year's Listowel Food Fair are this week relishing another hugely successful event that surpassed all expectations.
Organising committee chairperson Michelle O'Connor said she was overwhelmed by the popularity of the festival this year, which she believes is due to the varied lineup of events that were included.
"It never ceases to amaze us as to how popular this event is with people of all ages," she said. "Hundreds turned out to enjoy the cooking demonstration by celebrity chef Martin Shanahan and hear what Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney had to say about the future of farming on Thursday and Friday nights. The Literary Taste Trail on Saturday was very popular, with many participants visiting from outside the county, while the Fashion Forward event in Lynch's Bakery added a considerable amount of style on Saturday night."
Keen to whet the appetite of all ages, this year's festival offered a tremendous line up with celebrities such as RTE's Dr Eva Orsmond of RTE's Operation Transformation, Olympic silver medallist John Treacy and celebrity chefs Martin Shanahan and Edward Hyden all taking part in the festival.
Among the highlights were the Celebration of Food event on Thursday and a farm information seminar with Minister Simon Coveney on Friday, not to mention the live kitchen in the Parents and Friends Centre and the Medieval Viking Banquet at the Seanchai Centre.
Also hugely popular with young and old was Sunday's fun run and workshop on pre-race preparation with John Treacy on Sunday, as well as the food village and craft market earlier that morning.
Other events taking place throughout the week included a farmers' market on Friday morning; Jazz and Tapas at John B's on Friday night; a herbal medicine walk with Christine Best in the town park on Saturday and 'Come Dine With Me' children's workshops at the Listowel Community Centre on Sunday.
Ms O'Connor paid tribute to her fellow organisers and the event sponsors – particularly Bord Bia, North & East Kerry Development, the County Enterprise Board, Utensils, Garvey's Supervalu, The Kerryman, Kerry Group, AIB Bank, FBD and McKennas as well as the local community and various businesses who play a key role in organising this year's festival.