Wickham Square prepares to give you a taste

A group of eager volunteers is gearing up for the first ever Taste of Wickham festival to be held in Wickham’s famous medieval square on Sunday 14 September from 10am-4pm.

Local produce, barbecues, tasters and cookery demonstrations are all on the menu for this free showcase of Wickham wonders. And that’s just for starters.

The Square will be closed to traffic from 6am to 6pm on the day with a special park and ride service operating from Park Place Pastoral Centre from the start of the event at 10am. For more details see www.tasteofwickham.co.uk.

Visitors will be able to enjoy music and shopping as well as food and drink, and for children a huge bouncy castle, face-painting, play bus, and animal-petting area should keep them occupied.

Led by Winchester City Council’s Market Towns Development Officer, the group first met back in January to discuss the idea of holding a food festival. Several meetings later, and the event turned into a celebration of everything that is great about Wickham, not just the food.

The organising team comprises local traders, local producers, volunteer organisations and the Parish Council, all of whom are giving up their spare time to plan and run the event. In addition to this team, a further 25 volunteers will help out on the day with stewarding, manning the information tent and litter picking.

Ben Sawyers, Chairman of the Organising Team, said:
“This event is our chance to show the world what Wickham is made of, and we plan to make it an annual occurrence. The village will be showcasing its food and drink, services and specialities to visitors, so we encourage every member of the family to come along. While the organisation has been a real challenge, to see people enjoying themselves on the day will make it all worthwhile.”

Cllr Angela Clear, Deputy Mayor, Wickham City Councillor and Chair of the Parish Council, added:
“We would like to add another event to put Wickham on the map. We have some excellent festivals in the area, but this one will bring something a little bit different. It is our chance to shine and bring the local community and visitors to the village together, and remind them of the variety of shops, restaurants and fun that Wickham has to offer.”

The organising team have already been successful in gaining grants from Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council to help cover the costs involved in putting on the event. They are currently waiting to hear if their application to the Big Lottery Fund has been successful.