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Organisers say they expect the 2018 Lichfield Food Festival to be bigger than ever and attract thousands of visitors to the city. Founded in 2011, the event has grown since, stretching over the August Bank Holiday weekend for the first time in 2017 – a move that will be repeated this time around. Among the stars on show this year will be contestants from the Great British Bake Off. Paul Maddox, chairman of Lichfield BID, said: “This year, the nationally-recognised and award-winning Lichfield Food Festival is shaping up to be another huge draw for attracting new visitors to the city as they explore the world of food against our historic city backdrop. “The festival, which is bigger and better than ever, has an additional 500 parking spaces for visitors and new location for the cookery theatre. “I am sure we will see record breaking numbers of visitors to this free event, many of whom will want to return after the event.” The Lichfield Food Festival starts at 11.30am on August 25, with demonstrations until 4pm on Stowe Field from the likes of James Hillery and local chef Simon Smith. The following day sees Julia Chernogorova and Tom Hetherington from the 2017 edition of Great British Bake Off along with Ryan Shilton who is soon to open the new Larders restaurant on Broad Street. The event rounds off on Bank Holiday Monday (August 27) with showcases from the first ever Great British Bake Off winner Edd Kimber and 2017 finalist Steven Carter-Bailey. Jon Arrowsmith, managing director of event organiser Cocker Hoop Creative, said: “We hope festival goers will enjoy everything we have laid on for them this year throughout the city, from seeing top TV bakers and chefs showcasing their favourite dishes to competitions for everyone to take part in. “This year promises to be the best ever. With activities for children to take part in throughout the city as well as live street music and entertainment, cookery equipment demonstrations from inside The Kitchen Shop, all of these are activities that make the festival even more enjoyable.” At the end of each day there will also be an ‘I’m Not A Celeb’ eating challenges, while food and drink will also be offer throughout the event. Martyn Cheatle, chief executive of sponsor Central England Co-operative, said: “We are pleased to once again be the main sponsor of Lichfield Food Festival and proud to be involved in such a major event for the area. “We look forward to welcoming thousands of people to the event.”

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Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.