Eat the Street and AFL mark a big weekend for Lismore
IF YOU love your food and your footy, then Lismore is the place to be on the weekend of 9-10 March.
Lismore's award-winning Eat the Street food festival is being held on Saturday, 9 March followed by a pre-season clash between the Gold Coast Suns and the Sydney Swans on Sunday, 10 March.
The AFL match is possible thanks to a $2.8 million upgrade of Lismore's premier sporting ground, Oakes Oval, to accommodate national AFL matches.
Grandstand seating for the afternoon fixture has already sold out but general admission tickets are still available, with single tickets, kids tickets and family passes available.
Lismore City Council's Acting City Centre Manager Andrew Walker said the Eat the Street food festival attracted more than 18,000 people last year and a crowd of 25,000 or more is envisaged this year.
He is hoping the addition of the AFL will bring thousands of people into the city and encourages residents to invite friends and relatives to spend a weekend in the heart of the Northern Rivers.
"Come to Lismore for Eat the Street, stay in the city on Saturday night and enjoy a fantastic game of AFL on Sunday. It's a huge weekend of family fun and Lismore will be at its very best," Andrew said.
"As well as the food festival and the footy - as if that wasn't enough - you can show people our new regional gallery for free and take a walk through our CBD laneways to view our Back Alley Gallery, which showcases local and international street artists. It's a great weekend that mixes the two things Lismore is all about - sport and culture."
Eat the Street will come alive on Saturday, 9 March from midday to 9pm in the heart of Lismore. There will be more than 50 stalls offering tasting plates, plus boutique drinks and beverages, home-grown produce and locally made products.
"Sit out on our main street, under the trees, and try food from all over the Northern Rivers region," Andrew said.
"There will also be bars selling handcrafted beer and gin, a range of delicious desserts and so much more. It is the event of the year not to miss. We have had such great success with the Eat the Street food festival and it is now one of Lismore's signature events."
The popular Cooking Stage will return with celebrity chef Matt Goliniski doing a masterclass on Saturday morning for foodies. He will also share recipes plus cooking tips and tricks in a free live demonstration and Q&A.
This year the entertainment stage will feature talent from far and wide, including headline act Wild Marmalade, which will end the evening with its high-energy dance music.
There are also several ticketed events happening in the lead-up to the festival on Saturday.
On Thursday, 7 March there will be a Progressive Dinner around Lismore. Diners will be transported from restaurant to restaurant, experiencing Lismore's finest culinary offerings at the city's best local eateries.
On Friday, 8 March is a series of Food Foraging Tours led by local bushfood expert Peter Hardwick. Identify and discover the region's amazing array of edible natives and taste dishes made from these wonderful local ingredients.
If drinks are more to your taste, join the Mixology Class with Howard Johnson at Lismore's only hatted restaurant - The Loft - on Friday, 8 March. Learn to make perfect cocktails at one of Lismore's finest bars - and have fun drinking them.
For more information or bookings for Eat the Street classes or the pre-season AFL match, go to www.visitlismore.com.au.