Ashford Salami Festival to have competitions, food stalls, cooking demonstrations, music, fireworks - and possibly hundreds of salamis

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Ashford Salami Festival manager Pene Riggs talk over the program of activities.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Ashford Salami Festival manager Pene Riggs talk over the program of activities.

THIS year’s Ashford Salami Festival is shaping up to be “a cracker of a day”, according to Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.

The local MP caught up with festival manager Pene Riggs recently to talk about the day’s activities, which have been beefed up after his announcement of a $5000 state government grant.

Mr Marshall said the third annual festival would feature an evening program of live music, fireworks and fire-twirling for the first time.

“This year’s event will be a cracker of a day and, along with the salami competition, there will be a lot of culturally diverse food stalls, salami- and cheese-making demonstrations, and to top it all off, a salami-throwing competition and pig races,” he said.

“This extra funding will allow the festival to extend into the evening at the Ashford Showground, entertaining visitors from right across the region.”

  • The Ashford Salami Festival is on Saturday, October 14, 9am-10pm, at the showground.

Rich food, rich history

Ms Riggs said the festival was a chance to celebrate Ashford’s rich cultural and salami-making history at a family-friendly event, as well as raise much-needed funds for the small community.

“The inaugural event in 2015 saw local community groups and small business raise more than $5000 from the day’s activities, so we’re very excited about adding the evening entertainment this year,” Ms Riggs said.

“We have a jam-packed program of events and activities this year, including the best homemade salami competition, the famous Noah’s Thoroughbred Pig Races as seen on TV, and live entertainment all day.

“There will lots of children’s rides, belly dancing, fire twirling and fireworks in the evening, and all for only a gold coin donation. Camping is also available for $10 a night.”

Salamis by the hundreds

Mr Marshall said the past met the present at this event – which he certainly has a taste for.

“Ashford has a proud multicultural history, with many Italians settling in the district to farm tobacco, so their salami-making recipes and skills have been passed down through the generations and throughout the community,” he said.

“I had the pleasure of not only attending the inaugural festival in 2015, but also judging the salami competition and had a fun – and rather fulfilling – time sampling around 200 homemade salamis made by very talented locals.”