It was bright blue skies and favorable weather at the annual Holland Marsh Soup Festival this past Saturday at Ansnorveldt Park.
Many families and members of surrounding communities gathered to sample this year’s top soups by local chefs.
Over 20 participants gathered to compete for top spots in various categories that were voted on by the public. Local restaurants, schools and other businesses created unique and delicious recipes hoping to showcase their soup making talent.
The festival emphasizes the importance of buying home grown, fresh produce from local farms and markets. It also recognizes the Holland Marsh as one of the top vegetable producers in Ontario. A series of family owned farms are known for producing carrots, onions and celery.
Soup makers are encouraged to use locally grown ingredients in their soups to support local farmers.
Although the festival is coordinated by the Township of King, many of the soup makers come from Bradford, including restaurants, Hay Caramba, La Mexicanada, Jojo’s Crepe Café and Don Cherry’s Sports Grill.
The winner that took the top spot for Best Restaurant and People’s Choice was Bradford’s own Don Cherry’s Sports Grill. Their submissions included two soups: chicken pot pie and jambalaya.
There was something for everyone at this year’s festival; a farmer’s market full of locally grown produce from the surrounding family run farms, a vendor fair, a kids’ zone with mini putt and live entertainment from the band “The Strange Potatoes”.
It’s one of the stops along the way on the York Region Festival Trail that showcases 40 events over 200 days including food vendors, live music, amusement parks, and theatres. For more information about the soup festival, or to become a soup maker at next year’s event, visit their website here.