Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Wakefield Rhubarb Festival, 2023

Wakefield, West Yorkshire, held its annual Rhubarb [Rheum rhabarbarum] Festival on 17-19 February 2023. It’s unknown when this event first started.  An article in the Daily Telegraph of 14 January 1995 mentioned that the Leeds and District Market Gardeners’ Association held an Annual Rhubarb Show on the second Saturday in February, and the Times Magazine of 13 January 2001 reported ‘It’s the second National Winter Gourmet Rhubarb Day on Friday, when growers celebrate the peak of their season with promotions’.

In 2023 the main event took place on Saturday 18 February.  A ‘Rhubarb Festival Food and Drink Market’ consisting of almost 60 stalls was held near the cathedral, and many stalls featured rhubarb delicacies, including wild duck and rhubarb chutney, rhubarb and apple oaty crumble, and rhubarb Japanese soda  However, the most popular stall was that of E. Oldroyd & Sons, which sold uncooked rhubarb.

Elsewhere in the city there was a Rhubarb Festival Food and Drink Trail, where further delicacies, such as rhubarb and custard milkshakes, rhubarb and beef stew, rhubarb cocktails, and savoury rhubarb and goats cheese salad, were available.  Local morris teams  and the Roaming Flat Cap Brass Band also provided entertainment.

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