The programme begins tomorrow evening when county mayor Nora Flynn and town mayor Damien Geoghegan unveil the festival mascot.
Waterford county manager Ray O’Dwyer said the festival plays a key role in tourism development in the county and generates a lot of revenue.
“We have a lot to offer in the area of food production, restaurants and all in a beautiful setting,” he said.
Festival co-ordinator Therese McDermott said the aim is to tempt the palate with events themed around the wonderful local produce available in the Déise county. Waterford County Council, Dungarvan Town Council and Waterford County Enterprise Board are supporting the festival.
Flahavan’s is the main commercial sponsor, in conjunction with Glanbia and FBD, as well as Dawn Meats. Local food producers, schools and other interest groups are also backing the event.
Some of the country’s top chefs, including Neven Maguire of McNeans, Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain and Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken Cookery School will share their culinary skills with the public.
They will be joined by local chefs Paul Flynn, Eunice Power, Louise Clarke, Conor Foran and Shane McGrath.
A nutrition workshop hosted by the National Dairy Council and Glanbia will also take place and there will be talks, food and wine tasting, entertainment, a mobile farm for children, a community picnic in the park, a display of vintage cooking utensils and other attractions.
One of the highlights will be an all-day farmers’ market on Sunday, in Grattan’s Square, a traditional market location dating back to the early 1800s.
There will also be a farmers’ market in Lismore on Saturday with local chefs serving up their favourite dishes.
A bread-baking workshop in Cappoquin, a seaweed seminar at Clonea Beach and Crude Food trails in Colligan Wood, which will reveal tasty delights that grow all around, will be other highlights.