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Thousands flock to Mold Food and Drink Festival

Mold Food and Drink Festival 2022
ONE of Wales’ leading food festivals has made a delicious return after a two-year pandemic hiatus.

Mold Food and Drink Festival drew thousands of visitors from across North Wales and beyond to its New Street site to celebrate and enjoy the best in local cuisine and hospitality.

The two-day Mold event, opened by town mayor Cllr Haydn Jones, struck a different tone from previous years. Each day began with a minute’s silence to mark the passing of HM The Queen and a book of condolence was  available for signing.

Gwenan Roberts, Mold Food and Drink Festival’s co-chair, said: “It has been a long break without the festival, and so many people remarked how glad they were to see the event return. In light of the recent sad news about HM The Queen, we did think long and hard about what to do for the best. But we also felt we owed it to the hospitality industry to continue after what has been a crippling time. We are glad to have been able to mark the Queen’s passing but still successfully continue with our much-loved event in a thought out and considered way.”

In recognition of the difficulties faced by food and drink providers post-pandemic, the festival committee reduced pitch prices for exhibitors, enabling many to come along.

Co-chair Richard Howells said more than 100 traders benefited from the reduced rates. This year, the festival also shone a light on chefs, including Yuliia Voronkova and friends Katerina Voronkova and Olga Donetska, who were forced to leave their homes in war-torn Ukraine early this year and are now planning on opening their own restaurant.

“We have been through extraordinary times, with the pandemic and even very recently with the passing of HM The Queen. The festival is volunteer-led and not-for-profit, it takes a sterling effort to get it off the ground, but this year has been worth it to see so many people together again, supporting businesses but also showing deference to the Queen’s passing. We are forever grateful to all who get behind and support our festival, particularly this year,” he added.

The festival takes around 10 months to arrange with a small committee responsible for organising it. Current co-chairs Gwenan and Richard have been involved for some years, but the 2022 event was their last.

Gwenan said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my festival involvement. Over the the past nine years, I have learnt a lot about food from some skilled and passionate people. I wish everyone involved all the best for the future. From now on though I’d like to visit as a member of the public to enjoy it from the other side!”

Richard, who owns and runs The Olive Tree Delicatessen in Mold, appealed for new volunteers to join the committee.

“As co-chairs, Gwenan and I have had a ball,” he said, “but the festival is a big commitment and hard work. It’s rewarding and fun, but we have more than done our stint at the coal face. It is now time for fresh legs and ideas, and we look forward to seeing what 2023 brings, coming along as visitors to enjoy the event.”