13th September 2014
- Yearly Events (Shows, Food Festivals etc)
- Food Festival
Origins of the Newent Onion Fayre
Newent Onion Fayre is a one day street festival of food drink and merriment which attracts almost 15,000 visitors. At the heart of the festival is the Onion Show which is unique in its status in the UK. The whole town becomes a party during what has become recognised as a celebration of the first day of harvest at the end of the summer.
Newent, originally the site of a manor belonging to the Abbey of Cormeilles in Normandy, quickly grew into a sizeable community when King Henry III granted the new town of ‘Noent’ a market and two annual fayres by charter.
By the end of the 13th century it was well established as a thriving market town where Welsh drovers, passing through to Gloucester, would purchase local onions at the town’s newly established Onion Fayre. The Onion Fayre survived to the early part of the twentieth century when, unfortunately, the war years saw its demise.
It now encompasses much more than the originally planned, being a fine showcase for locally grown vegetables, fruit and other more elaborate foods, plus a wide selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic juices and drinks.However in 1996 the Fayre was revived as a festival to celebrate local food and drink, and has since grown considerably to a fantastic crowd-pulling National event.
With lots of live music, entertainment, food and drink, plus 100+ stands, exhibitions, children’s events and not forgetting THE ONE AND ONLY NEWENT ONION SHOW!
It has become the largest one-day festival in the whole of Gloucestershire and the ONLY National Festival to celebrate the MAGNIFICENT ONION!
The Onion Show
The Onion Show, staged in the Memorial Hall, is unique in that all exhibits are only from the Onion Family, or Alliums to give them their correct name. As well as onions, exhibits are invited for blanch leeks, pot leeks, garlic and chives.
Exhibitors from as far afield as the north of England and from Wales have been bringing their exhibits for the last 18 years. There are excellent cash prizes to be won, as well as trophies for the winners of the various classes. There are also classes for children and adults to show off their artistic talents and make an animal out of vegetables – especially onions, of course.
Being affiliated to the National Vegetable Society, we always have a reputable NVS judge for the Onion Show. The judges for 2014 will be announced in due course.
2012 saw a new innovation for the Onion Show, the introduction of 3 new classes to test competitors culinary skills. These cookery classes all featured onions of course!
The Memorial Hall opens to the public as soon after 10.30am as possible on the day, when judging is complete. Onion Show Trophies, which are held by winners for one year, will be presented at 4.30pm on the day. Entries may be removed at 5.00 pm.
Food, glorious food! If you’re a foodie, you’ll love Newent Onion Fayre’s Food Festival! Have a taste of Newent, as you stroll around the stalls sampling a wide variety of food and drink from an abundance of producers.
The 1st food festival appeared in 2011 was such a success that it has now become a regular feature of the Onion Fayre. Jams, cakes, cheese, oils, fresh fruit and vegetables, bread not forgetting beer, wine, cider and liquors and much, much more!
The festival takes place in Budgens car park – follow the signs there and you’ll be in the world of food and drink!