DARWEN is to hold its first food festival later this year.

The event, being organised by the town council, is scheduled for Saturday, October 4, and Coun Brian Taylor has been given a £2,500 budget to showcase the culinary delights Darwen has to offer.

It is hoped there will be cooking demonstrations by the town’s top chefs, stalls from Darwen’s best producers and children’s rides to make the event fun for all the family.

Entry will be free, but stallholders will be charged a small amount to help fund the event.

Coun Taylor said: “Carlo Ricioppo, who runs Deli Carlo at the market, had the idea and he approached me in the street one day. I asked around to see if it was do-able and it just grew from there.

“Carlo sent me a list this week and there are at least 20 firms in Darwen we can approach. I was shocked. I did not realise there were so many food producers in Darwen.

“We have these firms in Darwen and we want to get them out there.”

Coun Taylor said he had written to the best restaurants in the town to try to get them involved.

He said: “We have approached restaurants such as the Whitehall Hotel and Astley Bank, and the local Indian and Italian restaurants.

“We want them to give cookery demonstrations using food sourced in Darwen. We will have stalls as well and there will be rides for the children.

“It will be a full family event and it will be free for the public.”

Coun Taylor said he wanted to see the event thrive and grow in the future.

He said: “These events, like the one in Clitheroe, are massive now.

“We are starting off small but we want to develop it.

“This is just another thing to get people into the town and try to support businesses in Darwen.”