Working with Treetops

Organisers of the Ilkeston Food Fair have proudly joined forces with the Treetops Hospice Care in Risley to host a Spring Food and Drink Fair.

The event will run along similar lines to the ever growing Ilkeston Food Fair, and is being held on April 9 at the Treetops Hospice Care, Derby Road, Risley DE72 3SS. The fair will be opened at 10am by Maggie Throup MP for Erewash, and will run until 4pm.

Promoters of Ilkeston Food Fair, Carol and Gordon Pringle, wanted to organise the event to help raise funds for the charity, and to help bring the community together. This will be an event to entertain families, feature local artisan food and drink, as well as a craft market for visitors to browse around.

After a life changing event of the sudden death of a very dear friend, organisers Carol and Gordon Pringle were prompted to try and capitalise on the crowds that attend the fairs to raise money for worthwhile causes.

Whilst their nominated charity remains the Brain Tumour Charity, in memory of the friend they describe as ‘taken suddenly and far too soon,’ they decided to help raise as much money as they can for a local cause, where they know the money will make a real difference.

Carol said: “We know personally just how much Treetops Hospice Care helps people with end of life services. To be able to reach a new audience in Risley will be amazing, and to bring families and people together at the hospice will be so rewarding.”

The Ilkeston Food Fair began in 2014, with just one fair that year. Since then, it has grown to hosting three in 2016, with plans for the event to expand across the neighbouring town to Stapleford later this year.

Entry to the Treetops event costs £2 for adults, and children under 10 are free.

There is a £1 car park fee, with all proceeds going to Treetops Hospice.

The next Ilkeston Food Fair, held at the Ilkeston Rugby Club, will be on May 21st, again from 10am-4pm.

Thank you’s

The Ilkeston Food Fair would like to say a big thank you to Wayne Mycroft from NRA Roofing and Andy Hickingbottom from Total Hire and Sales, who have sponsored all our power needs and lighting for the Christmas market.

It wouldn’t be possible without you, and we are very grateful for your kind sponsorship!

More special guests at the Christmas Market

This morning we were very excited to hear that Storm Troopers will be attending the Ilkeston Christmas Market!

They will be visiting us from 10am – 1pm, and will be dressed up collecting donations to our chosen charity, the Brain Tumour charity. We are also collecting for this on our JustGiving page.

Keep your eyes peeled for them walking around the Market, and make sure you share any photos you take of them with us.

We look forward to welcoming you all to our Christmas Market and getting into the festive spirit!

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​Response to those who feel it is animal cruelty to have live reindeer at The Ilkeston Food Fair Christmas market on 11th December ​2016​

Ilkeston Food Fair understands and acknowledges people’s ​​concerns about the importation of wild reindeer to the UK for shows around the festive season. We wholeheartedly agree that the importation of reindeer is an extremely serious concern and should be subject to ​strict​ regulation, which Ilkeston Food Fair would welcome and support.

We researched the various ​reindeer hire​ companies very carefully​ ​and chose Real Reindeer, the herd leaders in Reindeer exhibiting in the UK, ​not only because they are ​an established reputable company with a majority UK born herd ​but also because of their long standing relationship with the Sami people, from where their reindeer originate from. They have worked with the Veterinary Laboratories Agency to help compile the research which was aimed at educating prospective owners of reindeer in the UK.

This company advised on the ‘report’ with the government department as the reindeer were being sold to people who had no expertise in caring for them and is of immense frustration to our reindeer suppliers who are constantly striving to improve the husbandry of reindeer in this country. The company we are using are ‘approved’ by the Sami people. Reindeer are the only breed of deer that have been successfully domesticated by the Sami people over thousands of years. The reindeer are intelligent animals and respond well to human interaction. They are so tame they do not exhibit any indicators of stress.

The relationship they have with the Sami’s now mean knowledge is shared back to the Sami’s regarding health issues and there is continuing work between them and because of this ongoing relationship Ilkeston Food fair are very happy with the welfare standards of the company who are providing the reindeer.

A colleague at Ilkeston Food Fair has seen reindeer​ from this company​ recently at an event and reported that they are very happy, healthy and relaxed which will become evident when they are on display​ at the Christmas Market​on​ the​11th December 2016.

All human reindeer interaction is determined by the reindeer who​ will​have the freedom and sufficient space to move away from the public if they wish. Whilst on display the reindeer eat, drink and lie down (and sometimes sleep) and exhibit all the natural behaviour they would do if they were at home. They are transported in purpose built trailers with thick straw beds as the reindeer travel loose and lie down as soon as they start moving.

These reindeer are the ambassadors of their breed and whilst bringing enjoyment to many whilst on display, are helping educate on the need for strict regulation of live reindeer importation and their continued welfare in this country.

Please be in no doubt that Ilkeston Food Fair has the best intentions in having Reindeer at the Christmas Market and we are thrilled to be able to give both adults and children the fantastic opportunity of meeting the reindeer and learning all about them.

Kind regards,

Carol and Gordon Pringle.

Prince’s Trust to visit the Christmas Market

The Prince’s Trust will be coming to our Christmas Market to visit one of our exhibitors that they kindly donated a grant to.

In October, Jason from Ruckabies hosted his own stall at the Ilkeston Food Fair. This was his first ever event that he had exhibited at, and from that his mentor and executive are now coming to The Christmas Market to see what he has achieved.

Here is what Jason has to say about the help he received from the Trust:

“The Prince’s Trust is great, they help you think about so many things you may have not considered and offer constructive advice to get the best possible start. They have given me the start that I needed and offer an immense amount of encouragement and support and do everything they can to make sure we succeed. Both my mentor and executive will be coming in December for the Christmas event to offer support and try the food which is great and I am excited for them to see what their help has achieved.”

The Prince’s Trust Nottingham also helped Oozee Boozee Bakes on their feet.

We look forward to welcoming them to our ever-growing Christmas Market, and showing them around the many different talents that Ilkeston has to offer.

MasterChef’s Pete Hewitt at the Christmas Market

Pete Hewitt2015 MasterChef finalist Pete Hewitt will once again be bringing his Homeboys van to our fair!

Following the success of his stand in October,  Pete will be offering some of his best street food recipes exclusively to the Christmas Market.

We look forward to welcoming him back, this time alongside visits from Santa Clause and his real reindeers!

Timetable of events

The Christmas Market will run as follows:

10.00 – Fair opens with The Long Eaton Silver Prize Brass Band

11.00 – Arrival of the Reindeer

11.15 – Carols from The Imari Ladies Choir

12.00 – The Marvellous Mouse Circus

12.00 – Father Christmas arrives and will stay until 2.00pm, he is obviously very busy at this time of year!

1.00 – The Ilkeston Youth Theatre

2.00 – The Marvellous Mouse Circus

3.00 – Departure of the Reindeer


We hope to see you all there… Christmas is just around the corner!

Real reindeers are coming to Christmas Market!

We are pleased to announce that we have real reindeers coming to this year’s Christmas Market!

Real Reindeer Ltd are the herd leaders in the UK for reindeer hire and exhibiting reindeer at events, from small private parties to large public gatherings. Husband and wife team Martin and Angie Flint run Real Reindeer with their children from their farm in rural England. Their close association with a Sami family (the traditional Scandinavian reindeer herders) has enabled them to acquire the knowledge and expertise for successful reindeer keeping.

The reindeers will be at the fair from 11am.

Check out this video where EE’s Santa’s Superfast Little Helpers getting put through their paces, starring the reindeers that will be coming to our fair!

Pete Hewitt returns to the Ilkeston Food Fair!

Pete HewittMasterchef finalist Pete Hewitt will be returning to the Ilkeston Food Fair on Sunday!

Pete will be bringing his Homeboys stand to both our October and December fairs, and will be offering some of his best street food recipes.

His culinary influences come from the simplicity and freshness of Japanese cooking and a love of Asian street food, drawing inspiration from various oriental cuisines and aspects of classical cooking to create his dishes.

The local lad from Clifton got through to the semi finals of Masterchef in 2015. Don’t miss your chance to sample some of his recipes! Food fairs don’t get any better than this!

Just 5 days to go!

Our event is just five days away, and we are getting very excited!

With over 80 exhibitors now signed up, this fair is set to be our biggest one to date. We have some great stalls coming, and the entertainment we have lined up is going to make sure the event is fun for the whole family.

This year, we are proud to be donating some of the pitch fees to the Brain Tumor Charity, and will also be collecting on the day to help raise money for such a good cause.

Carol Pringle, the Ilkeston Food Fair co-ordinator, said: “We would like to raise money in memory of Mark Towers; a loving husband, dad and friend, who was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme brain tumor in March 2016, a highly aggressive form of brain tumor. Sadly, 5 months later Mark lost his battle with the tumor and passed away suddenly, we simply didn’t have enough time.”

The Brain Tumor Charity is at the forefront of the fight to defeat brain tumors, funding research and providing support for those affected. They are committed to defending the most amazing part of the human body so that the diagnosis of a brain tumor no longer means a death sentence.

We also have Erewash MP Maggie Throup coming to open the fair, Mick Gee as our compere for the event, and live music from Megan Kelsey and PIRATE RADIO. Pony rides and face painting stalls will keep your little ones entertained while you browse the fabulous selection of food our exhibitors are bringing with them.

The fair will be open from 10am-4pm, and is being held at the Ilkeston Rugby Club. Don’t miss your chance to sample some of the finest local artisan food and drink, and shop at a craft market and food stalls all offering fabulous produce!