Food festival to move to Norfolk Showground after last year was ‘the best yet’

Porkstock 2016. Photo: Porkstock

Porkstock 2016. Photo: Porkstock - Credit: Porkstock

An award-winning festival which celebrates local food and drink is set to return this year, with its popularity seeing it move to a larger venue.

Porkstock 2016. Photo: Porkstock

Porkstock 2016. Photo: Porkstock - Credit: Porkstock

Porkstock will be taking over a corner of the Royal Norfolk Showground on Saturday, October 14, for the 4th year of it being a public event.

The event was originally started 14 years ago by a group of beer and barbeque-loving friends.

Now, it is run entirely by a team of hard-working volunteers, with all profits going to a local charity.

And for the second year in a row, Nelson's Journey - which supports bereaved children in Norfolk - will be the beneficiary.

Porkstock 2016. Photo: Porkstock

Porkstock 2016. Photo: Porkstock - Credit: Porkstock

Porkstock has two, distinct, parts - a daytime food festival and an evening knees up.

During the day, from 10am to 5pm, Porkstock is a free family festival for food, music and fun-lovers of all ages.

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From handmade fudge to artisan cheese; delicious preserves and chutneys to locally produced wine, beer and spirits; passionate Norfolk producers will be sharing their love of great food and their commitment to great ingredients.

The cookery stage will once more be at the heart of the daytime event with demos and talks from some of the region's leading chefs, butchers and restaurateurs.

Former Norwich South MP Simon Wright, Nelsons Journeys CEO. Photo: Nelson's Journey

Former Norwich South MP Simon Wright, Nelsons Journeys CEO. Photo: Nelson's Journey - Credit: Archant

The cookery demo stage is sponsored and co-ordinated by Porkstock patron Charlie Hodson, the founder of Charlie's Food Heroes.

Daytime visitors to Porkstock will also be able to enjoy a fantastic selection of street food stalls, a real ale and Prosecco bar, lots of live music, a sausage eating contest, kids' games and activities and lots of family fun.

As the sun goes down the Porkstock party comes alive.

This is an adult-only, ticketed event where music takes over from food as the main attraction.

With two party zones, there will be an array of live bands on the main stage.

And now synonymous with Porkstock, the Gin Palace will be returning with an electro-swing extravaganza provided by Tallulah and the Goodtimes Republic. Tickets for the evening knees up are on sale until June 30, 2017, at an early bird price of £20.

Porkstock founder James Ellis said: 'Norfolk has an awesome range of fabulous food and drink producers and we're delighted that so many of them will be joining us during the day at Porkstock 2017.

'Visitors can sample an array of tastebud-tingling flavours and stock up their cupboards with exciting new products as well as grazing their way around the street food stalls and sampling some fantastic local beer, wine and soft drinks.'

Ben Handford, fellow Porkstock organiser, added: 'Porkstock 2016 was our best yet. More than 3000 people came along to the daytime foodie festival, despite the rain, and we sold more than 1000 tickets for the evening knees up.

'Importantly we also raised more than £10,000 for Nelson's Journey. This year we'll have space for even more people and will be inviting more of the best street food sellers to come along to ensure we have plenty of food to fuel people throughout the evening.'

More than 50 volunteers helped with Porkstock last year.

'We simply couldn't make the event happen without our fantastic volunteers,' said Mr Ellis.

'Whilst we pay our suppliers, none of the helpers or event team - apart from one part-time administrator - get paid.

'And our sponsors are the other key part of the puzzle.

'By supporting the event they basically underwrite the event costs, so once we have money in from ticket sales we can give most of that to our lovely charity Nelson's Journey.'

Simon Wright, chief executive of Nelson's Journey, said: 'Last year's Porkstock raised enough money for Nelson's Journey to fund the salary of a bereavement support worker over a six-month period. 2016 saw the highest ever number of bereaved young people referred to us for support, and the early signs are pointing to 2017 being an even busier year for the charity.

'With the tremendous help that we receive from events such as Porkstock, we are able to grow our capacity and put smiles back on the faces of even more bereaved children in Norfolk.'

• To buy tickets for the Porkstock Evening Knees Up or find out about volunteering, sponsorship or exhibiting opportunities, please visit www.porkstock.co.uk.

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