2019 Orange FOOD Week hailed a 'sensational' success | Photos, videos

Record crowds, smoothly run events, and plenty of cash flowing into the local economy.

That's the glowing message Orange FOOD Week committee president James Sweetapple has after yet another successful event concluded on Sunday.

Mr Sweetapple said Forage had again been the jewel in the crown with a sell-out crowd of 1500 people strolling through vineyards tasting and sipping the best local produce.

VIDEO: Having fun at Forage ...

"It's been sensational. The Forage event went smoother than it has ever gone before," he said.

Mr Sweetapple said with Forage now in it's 10th year there was wide acceptance of the event's importance.

"They [event goers] respect they are all going to get food and they are all going to get wine."

It's been sensational. The Forage event went smoother than it has ever gone before.

Orange FOOD Week committee president James Sweetapple

He said FOOD Week's push to be sustainable and "plastic-free" had been praised.

Mr Sweetapple said when he explained how sustainable the event had become with compostible materials and special bins to each busload of people attending Forage it was met with applause.

He said it would take a few days before exact attendance figures were known for the whole festival but he believed they were up on previous years with most events being well-attended.

VIDEO: The FOOD Train arriving on Friday ...

"I know my events, I had two walks and talks. It had the biggest crowd I've ever seen, of 30-35 people. And there were about 60 at the dinner," he said.

Mr Sweetapple said the first-time event this year Taste Local on the Lawn, on the grassed area above the Visitor Information Centre, was a success, and had the potential to grow in future years.

"It was a beautiful use [of the venue]," he said.

VIDEO: What was on offer at Sculpture in an Orange Garden ...

He said after 28 years it was important to maintain the focus of FOOD Week which was on local food and wine, local producers and on cooks and chefs.

Mr Sweetapple said locals and visitors enjoyed meeting the producers and discovering where their food came from.


One of the last events on the FOOD Week calendar was the Sunday Producers Market in Cook Park.

He said it was well attended and had shifted into the corner of the park on the intersection of Summer and Sampson streets to avoid the colony of bats at the southern end of the park.

"I can see bats and hear bats but they are 50 metres and 100 metres away," Mr Sweetapple said.