Market Drayton's Ginger and Spice Festival celebrates successful event with competition winners

After the success of a town's return to live events last month, the winners of the Ginger and Spice Festival's competitions have been announced.

Leek United Heritage Trail winner Izzy Ottolini, aged 12, with (right) Emily Bennion from The Salon Upstairs, winner of Best Dressed Gingerbread Character 'Hair Fairy', and (left) staff member Zoe Garrett, at Leek United Building Society, Market Drayton
Leek United Heritage Trail winner Izzy Ottolini, aged 12, with (right) Emily Bennion from The Salon Upstairs, winner of Best Dressed Gingerbread Character 'Hair Fairy', and (left) staff member Zoe Garrett, at Leek United Building Society, Market Drayton

This year’s winners have been announced in relation to the three contests which took place as part of the Leek United Heritage Town Trail sponsored by the Leek United Building Society at the Ginger and Spice Festival 2021 on Saturday, September 25.

The family focused heritage town trail took place from 10am until 4pm and was a key event at this year’s festival. The trail event was free of charge for all festival goers to take part in and was dedicated to exploring the town’s rich culinary heritage and history, linking up both the artisan spicy street market and the floating market on the Shropshire Union Canal.

Dan Nutt of Leek United Building Society said: “It was lovely to attend this year’s festival and great to see so many people out supporting the local community, given the past 18 months.

"The community spirit is very strong within the town and being a part of another successful Ginger & Spice Festival is something we at Leek United are proud of.”

Deborah Grogan, winner of the Adults Prize of the Leek United Heritage Spice Trail at the Market Drayton Ginger and Spice Fest this year

Local businesses and organisations were invited to sponsor a gingerbread character and decorate it to the theme of 'heroes and villains'. They had to display the characters in their shop window or at their business premises during the festival. The children who took part in the Leek United Town Heritage Trail were asked to pick their favourite.

The best decorated gingerbread award went to ‘The Hair Fairy’ by the Salon Upstairs.

Owner of Salon Upstairs, Naomi Curran, said: “This year we wanted to bring the fun and creativity back into our salon. Our aim was to make our gingerbread colourful and we chose to go with the name ‘Hair Fairy’ as we have discovered that many people rely on our services, not necessarily because of ‘lockdown hair’ but because our clients love talking with us and saying how much better they feel after a visit to our salon and with our team."

The runners up were ‘Ranger Clive’ by Sweet Warriors and ‘Gangsta Granny’ by the Leek United Building Society.

There were also two free prize draws. Every adult who completed the trail and answered all the heritage trail questions correctly was entered into a free prize draw to be in with a chance of being picked as a winner.

The adult prize was won by Deborah Grogan who was presented with a hamper of artisan goodies.

Leek United Heritage Trail winner Izzy Ottolini, aged 12, with staff member Zoe Garrett, at Leek United Building Society, Market Drayton

The children were asked to name all the gingerbread characters they could find in the town’s shops, business premises and organisations. The children’s prize was won by Izzy Ottolini who will be presented with a gingerbread hamper.

Izzy said: "Wow, what a surprise to have won. I really enjoyed the trail and exploring different parts of the town. It was fun searching for the different gingerbread names and seeing the different characters."

Julia Roberts, Festival Organiser, said: "We were delighted with the record amount of entries into this year’s Leek United Heritage Town Trail and it was equally fantastic to see how much effort the town’s businesses made with their window displays. All the decorated gingerbread characters were fantastic and made the town look so creative and festive."

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