Liverpool Food and Drink Festival

Lamby and I spent Easter weekend storytelling at Liverpool’s Food and Drink Festival. This event is normally held in September but Spring seems a good time to have a food festival. Afterall, plants, vegetables and crops are all starting to grow again after winter. So when SK Events  approached me and asked if I would like to provide storytelling for their new Easter event, I was delighted. So here’s what happened…

When Easter Sunday dawned it’s fair to say it did not look promising. A fine drizzle, the kind that soaks you like a silent assassin covered Liverpool. Although I had a Gazebo on stand by the weather forecasts had promised dry and fine and I for one was prepared to believe them.

I packed Buttercup my vintage van with my props, signs and Lamby of course and off we set minus the Gazebo. Being Britain, there had been rain a couple of days earlier. This had coincided with the arrival of the porta-loos and marquees for the event. This, of course, meant that much of the site resembled a mud pit. Now I have every faith in my trusty 40 year old van but even I didn’t fancy her chances against the mud. Even new and shiny 4X4’s had been struggling.

Luckily the SK staff were on hand to guide me onto the site avoiding the worst patches of mud as we went. Buttercup’s home for the next two days was in the heart of the Children’s Zone next to Family Go Live and the Lost Children Tent. Having parked up, it was time to set out our Storytelling area. And here it is 

As you can see, it was pretty overcast. Luckily by the time the gates had opened to the public, the sun had come out and Lamby had even got hot enough to remove his coat.

And so to the actual storytelling. I always select a range of stories that link to a theme the client has chosen. This time the theme was obviously…food (don’t faint with shock!) This is a great topic so my story tin was loaded with objects that related to stories all about food. There were classics such as The Gingerbread Man and The Enormous Turnip as well as some stories from around the world including the Hungry Monkey from South America. Plus there were a couple I’d made up myself.

Over the two days it became clear that there were some firm favourites amongst the children.  These were

  • The Gingerbread Man
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • The Hungry Crocodile (one I made up)
  • We’re Going on an Easter Egg Hunt 

As ever at these kinds of events the age range of the children was vast. I told stories to babies in buggies, toddlers, Infants and Juniors. And what better accolade is there than one group of children who returned three times during one day to hear more stories. I know I’ve said it before but if you could bottle children’s faces when you tell stories the world would be a happier place.

Towards the middle of the second day, both of the music stages were in full swing. I’m used to this at festivals. Last year, a particularly loud drum solo had to be incorporated in my story about Goldilocks as a very cross Daddy Bear! So when two little dots sat down with some other children for stories while both acts were in full swing I wasn’t phased. The girls were roughly 2 years and 18 months old. Their listening was superb and they were both engrossed in the tale of The Little Red Hen when one of the acts launched into Let It Go. I’ve never seen Frozen but like most of the population I am very aware of the song. Just as the Little Red Hen was getting ready to make her bread the chorus kicked in. Suddenly the two little dots in front of me turned their heads towards the music and gave a fabulous rendition of the chorus themselves. At times like that, you just have to go with it. Myself, their parents and some of the other parents couldn’t help but laugh. And as soon as the chorus finished they looked back at me and I carried on with the end of the story. Priceless!

All too soon, it was time for the festival to finish. The weather had been more than kind (I even got sunburn!), the crowds had enjoyed themselves, there was great food and drink and overall it had been a big success. Hopefully this means the Food and Drink festival will be a twice a year event from now on. As for Lamby and I, we loved it and we’d love to be part of it all again. 

We’re at the Wrexham Literary festival next if anyone fancies coming along to that. 

Thanks for reading. And now, I’m going to go and learn the words to Let It Go!

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