SOME of the leading food producers from the region have given the thumbs up to the Alcester and Forest of Arden Food Festival ahead of its fifth spring event later this month.

Both Hogan’s Cider, of Haselor, and Freemans, who have a butchers in Alcester’s Hopkins Precinct, have the perfect festival record having been at every event staged through the historic town centre.

And they are already gearing up for this year’s spectacular on Saturday, May 17, after the festival was voted one of the UK’s top three by a national magazine.

“It has been an amazing success story seeing how the festival has grown over the years,” company boss Stuart Freeman said.

“We came third with our olde English sausage at the Alcester and Forest of Arden Food Festival and our Welsh dragon sausage has just won an award at another event."

Sales of Hogan’s Cider have gone global since their appearance at the inaugural festival but marketing manager Sarah Edmunds said their local event was still one everyone looked forward to.

She said: “For us, the Alcester area is where it all started so the annual event is a special one for us."

The event will take place from 9am to 5pm in High Street, Church Street and around the Town Hall with disabled parking available on Henley Street, and entry is completely free.

The free park and ride service provided by Dudleys Coaches has moved to a new larger site on Adams Way, part of the Arden Forest Industrial Estate.