Lamu, KENYA: All plans are in place for this year’s second annual Food Festival in Lamu in its growing image as an island of festivals.
The Festival, a project of the county government of Lamu is set to run from April 15 to 17 on the Lamu island.
The weekend long event will combine both culinary and cultural activities street food bazaars, food expo,food races and competitions, film fests,tours,cooking classes among others.
The Food Festival was officially launched by the county government of Lamu early last year and joins a host of other festivals which are intended at promoting tourism.
The event is also aimed at selling the county’s unique culture to the outside world and more especially following terror attacks that left the tourism sector on its knees.
The festival is expected to attract over 20,000 visitors both locally and internationally.
Addressing journalists in his office in Lamu on Wednesday, Lamu County Tourism Officer Ali Mbwarali said this year’s festival was both a family oriented and community-centered event.
“It’s a family oriented and community centered event where companies and food industry investors will attend to promote their products or services ,”said Mbwarali.
Lamu island, the second biggest island in Lamu County after Manda island;is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts of a well preserved traditional cuisine, one of its main attractions and was once the most important trade centre in East Africa before its decline.
Lamu’s popular traditional Swahili cuisine is greatly influenced by Arab and Asian spices and uses fresh foods from the island including coconut and tarmarind dipped in aromatic spices like cardamom,cinnamon,cumin and black pepper.
Today,Lamu remains an important tourist spot for that and many other reasons which have led the county to host numerous festivals including the world popular Lamu Cultural and Maulid Festivals,thus the reputation ‘island of Festivals’.
This year’s Food festival is expected to attract an audience with an interest in a rich culinary experience among the food bloggers,foodies and a host of tourists interested in the Lamu Cuisine.
Mbwarali said the festival will also expose and celebrate other cuisines from around the country.
It will also explore all aspects of the food industry in Lamu from farming and fishing to the hotel and restaurant industry.
“This will allow investors to enjoy both cultural delicacies while exploring the potential of investing in the county’s food industry,”he said.
Other partners include the National Museums of Kenya,Lamu Tourism Association,Kenya Red Cross among others.