HarFest sees best of Norfolk’s agriculture on display in Norwich city centre
PUBLISHED: 21:21 07 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:01 08 October 2017
Copyright: Archant 2017
The best of Norfolk’s farming bounty was brought into the city centre for the day as part of a growing festival.
Thousands ventured into Norwich for Norfolk HarFest, which saw livestock, machinery, food and music showcased in the Cathedral Cloisters and Cathedral Close.
Artisan producers sold their wares at a farmers’ market, with cheese, bread, gin and chutney among the tempting goods.
Mr Mawkin’s Farm offered younger visitors the chance to come face to face with farmyard favourites, including piglets, kid goats, sheep and geese.
When they’d had enough of the animals, it was time to hop on board a tractor or climb into the combine harvester, before turning their attention to pumpkin carving and face painting.
It is the second outing for the festival, which is organised by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA), the team behind the ever-popular Royal Norfolk Show. It was sponsored by Great Yarmouth-based brewery Lacons, Leathes Prior and Norwich Accountancy Services.
Mark Nicholas, show and programmes director for the RNAA, said the event had been “superb”, with about 5,000 people attending by 3pm.
“It’s been fantastic,” he said. “It’s absolutely brilliant - the weather has held, everyone has been having a good time.
“We’ve had a superb number of visitors - we think about 5,000 people have been so far.”
He said that HarFest was initially launched as something of an “experiment”.
“The whole aim is for us to come into the middle of the city to promote food, farming and the countryside in a way which is completely accessible for everyone,” he said.
“It was an experiment to begin with, but it’s been a success so far.”
Live entertainment was put on throughout the day, with performances from the Rain Valley People, an acoustic band, and pupils at the Norwich School.
Easton and Otley College floristry students also took part in the events.
Gillian Lincoln, from the floristry department at the Easton campus, said: “Being involved in external events brings the teaching to life for many students.
“As a department we endeavour to give our learners the opportunity of embracing different situations that will help them in their future careers. It has been a privilege to have worked again in this beautiful building, helping to celebrate the HarFest this weekend.”
The festival supports the You Are Not Alone (YANA) project, which helps those in farming affected by stress and depression.
For information on the YANA project, visit www.yanahelp.org`
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