The Bank Holiday weekend’s Street Eat festival is being hailed as the best one yet, as crowds of well over 3,000 tucked into a double helping of food, drink, family entertainment and live music around Rochdale Town Hall Square.
The event was basked in warm sunshine for most of Saturday, and although the weather was less kind for some of Sunday, that didn’t stop large crowds forming throughout the weekend, having their taste-buds tickled and their thirsts quenched whilst enjoying tasty dishes from the town centre’s best bars and restaurants.
Paul Ambrose, BID Manager from organisers Rochdale Town Centre Management said feedback so far has been exceptional: “Many traders and customers have been telling me this year was the best yet … some of our traders were so busy that by Sunday afternoon they’d started to run out! The event provided a great boost to our town centre food and drinks venues and certainly helped to raise their profile. I’m sure they’ll have gained many new return visitors after so many customers were impressed with the tasty dishes being served. The weekend also brought in thousands of visitors and was a real team effort with the BID, council and venues working well together. I also want to thank our sponsors - Willmott Dixon, Pulsar Property Solutions and Rochdale Round Table.”
There were fun activities and rides for the children, including Punch & Judy shows every hour. Jamboree Arts provided free family friendly activities including showing little ones how to make nutritious fruit kebabs as well as coloured stamps from different fresh vegetables.
The event, organised by Rochdale Town Centre Management and supported by Rochdale Borough Council was sponsored by building and construction company Willmott Dixon. It showcased the town’s best food and drink establishments with dozens of mouth-watering dishes including Spanish, Italian, Thai, English, Chinese, German American and more.
Revolution 96.2 hosted the sound stage, with a full line-up of live music featuring local favourites The Jackson Kay Band, Tony Auton, Paddy O’Hara, Joe Dunne, Two for the Road, Pub Lunch, Double D and Between the Vines.
Traders include The Baum, WowYauChow, Bombay Brew, The Medicine Tap, Issan Friends, Pudding Paradise, Vicolo del Vino and The Flying Horse Hotel.
Organisers also banned single use plastics for the first time, with all traders using environmentally friendlier paper alternatives instead. Food was served in compostable sugar cane cartons or on sugar cane plates that are heat resistant and grease proof. Visitors tucked in using wooden cutlery, and drinks were served in 100% paper cups, with paper straws.
Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture at Rochdale Borough Council said: “Once again our local businesses dished up a treat! I thoroughly enjoyed Street Eat and having Rochdale Artisan Market on Saturday too was a perfect partnership. It was great to see so many people enjoying their day and the food was fabulous. You don’t need to wait until Street Eat returns … these fantastic restaurants and bars are open every week, so do support them and get a table booked!”
Danielle Whitworth, from sponsor Wilmott Dixon who attended on Saturday said: “Once again it was a fabulous two days, and a great Bank Holiday addition to the town centre. We were pleased to have been able to sponsor and support Street Eat again. Members of our team attended, tried some delicious food and were very impressed!”
To find out more about forthcoming events on the borough’s calendar, visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/events
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