Thousands are expected to gather in Derry’s city centre this weekend to eat, drink and be merry as Oktoberfest and the Slow Food Festival come to town.
An 800-capacity marquee has been erected at the carpark next to the Peace Park off Foyle Street to house those attending the Oktoberfest.
A little slice of Munich is promised as with authentic German beers and foods from the Black Forest and other German delicacies such as currywurst, saurkraut and apple strudel on offer, as well as non-alcoholic drinks.
Oktoberfest opened on Thursday and will run until Sunday October 16 daily from 1pm to 1am, with live music and other events each night.
Across the road meanwhile a huge marquee has been erected to for the Slow Food Festival in Guildhall Square.
The event - the first of its kind in Northern Ireland- will run from 12pm to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The free, family-friendly event will incorporate a Slow Food Harvest Fayre, Slow Food Street Food Zone, Family Fun Zone.
Fringe events including a ‘Made in Derry’ Slow Food Walking Tour and cycling tours around the city, tours of Butterlope Social Farm at Plumbridge by shuttle bus and an eco-tourism experience at St Columba’s Heritage Centre, which will bring to life stories of forgotten and local foraged foods focusing on seaweeds and other edible, sustainable wild foods, their traditions, myths and cures.
Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Hilary McClintock, warmly welcomed the Council’s initiative in organising the upcoming event which will embrace the aims and objectives of Slow Food, a global, grassroots movement founded in Italy in 1989 which links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.
Jennifer O’Donnell, Council’s Rural Tourism Officer and organiser of the two-day Slow Food Festival, said: “We have a fantastic line-up of local producers from across NI and Donegal including Broighter Gold, Tamnagh Cheese, Scarpello Slow Food Company, Donegal Prime Fish, Pennyburn Playtrail, Pier 59, Baked in Belfast, Erin Grove Preserves, Red Dog Foods and more exhibitors.
“Festival-goers will also be able to grab a bite from some of the North West’s mouth-watering creative slow food cuisine with Emmett Mc Court’s Irish Food Heritage, Lisnamulligan Farm, Hog Roast Company, Amara Dexter Beef, Coffee & Cream and Morelli’s Ice Cream all confirmed to date.
The Slow Food movement promotes the rearing of animals in the traditional way, encouraging the use of rare breeds, with meat allowed to mature slowly without the use of growth hormones.
For further information on the Slow Food Festival and how to book places on the tours, visit www.derrystrabane.com/food.