Rhubarb festival marks its tenth year in the city

Wakefield's food, drink and rhubarb festival.'Jennifer Painter (left) and Mya Hayes from Farmer Copleys with Rhubarb pork pies
Wakefield's food, drink and rhubarb festival.'Jennifer Painter (left) and Mya Hayes from Farmer Copleys with Rhubarb pork pies

The annual festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb returns to the city for a tenth year in February - and organisers are seeking chefs to showcase their rhubarb recipes.

The festival celebrates the district’s tradition of growing the vegetable with live cookery demonstrations, street entertainment, workshops and taster sessions.

Wakefield's food, drink and rhubarb festival.'Vicky Davies and James Hulme from E Oldroyd and Sons

Wakefield's food, drink and rhubarb festival.'Vicky Davies and James Hulme from E Oldroyd and Sons

Local and national chefs will demonstrate how to make unusual rhubarb dishes in a marquee in the Bull Ring, while caterers will sell a range of food and drink produce to visitors.

In the ‘rhubarb zone’ on the Cathedral Precinct, the ‘Deliciously Yorkshire’ market will return, alongside stallholders selling rhubarb-themed products.

Brook Street will be home to family friendly food and drink activities including a free cooking master class.

Other workshops to get involved in include circus skills at the Elizabethan gallery, a grow your own planting session, badge making and veg character designing.

Coun Les Shaw Cllr Les Shaw, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “Excitement is already building as work is going on behind the scenes to make this the biggest and best year yet.

“The festival will again be showcasing some of the regions tastiest foods and most talented chefs so come along to see what we have to offer.”

E Oldroyd and Sons will run tours around their rhubarb farm at Ashfield Farm, Main Street, Carlton throughout the weekend so people can see how the crop is grown and harvested. They can be booked at www.yorkshirerhubarb.co.uk

Owner of the farm Janet Oldroyd-Hulme said: “Despite the mild weather this year, everything should be going ahead for the festival as normal, with plenty of rhubarb crops. People come from far and wide but I hope this year we can attract more local people as not everybody realises what is involved in the rhubarb-growing process.”

The festival takes place from Friday, February 19 to Sunday February 21, 2016.

Organisers are seeking traders and caterers to complete the festival line up. To get involved, visit www.wakefield.gov.uk

The rhubarb festival is now in its tenth year and celebrates the city’s place at the heart of the rhubarb triangle of Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell.

Wakefield’s links with forced rhubarb, which has joined the ranks of Europe’s protected foods, with the same status as Champagne and Parma Ham, go back 150 years.

A rhubarb statue, which sits in Thornes Park off Denby Dale Road, was erected in 2005 to celebrate the heritage.