Unsavoury Weather Spurs Food Fest Change

Herbs and Spices is a 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger. It is available at the Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario

Savour Stratford Perth County culinary festival moving to July

Credit: Laura Cudworth, The Beacon Herald

Monday, December 9, 2013 3:54:41 EST PM

Savour Stratford is moving to a warmer climate — on the calendar at least.

The annual culinary festival has run in September since it started in 2008 and Mother Nature has dished up a steady diet of poor weather.

“There’s only been one weekend where it was relatively warm and there was no rain. It’s been a major issue,” said Eugene Zakreski, executive director Stratford Tourism Alliance.

As a result, the Savour Stratford Perth County culinary festival will be held in July this coming year.

However, the STA’s mandate is to market Stratford year round with particular attention paid to the non-summer months. Zakreski said moving Savour Stratford doesn’t go against that policy.

The alliance did a great deal of research and consulted the restaurant and accommodations industries and discovered September is one of the best months for visitors but July was soft, he said.

“In September there’s no problem selling rooms. The demand for theatre in September is very, very high.”

Savour Stratford had been running the same weekend as the Stratford Fall Fair. The effect on the Farmer’s Market and Fall Fair will be negligible, predicted Pam Riehl, secretary/treasurer Stratford and District Agricultural Society.

“I don’t think it should make any difference. It’s a different crowd who went to Savour Stratford.”

Savour Stratford won’t be replaced by another festival but plans are in the early stages for a mini festival at the end of October. Zakreski wasn’t prepared to provide more information yet.

Marketing resources — 80% — will still focus on January to June and September to December with Savour Stratford the lone summer event, he said.

One of the first campaigns after Christmas will be “Stratford is for Lovers” to attract tourism in February.

The STA will also be working with Blues & Rib Festival organizers to complement that event, he said.


Stratford Beacon Herald Website

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