A NEW festival to encourage people to visit Nairn is being supported by Nairn BID.
A Taste of Nairn: Here Comes Summer will take place next April and businesses – whether food and drink orientated or not - are being encouraged to get on board.
The three-day event has been timed to coincide what many perceive to be the start of the tourist season for the town.
The idea was taken to Nairn BID by Lee Jack, owner of the Sun Dancer restaurant situated next to the town’s harbour.
Lee who was born and raised in Nairn is passionate about the town and his dream is put Nairn on the map for being a place to visit and stay.
Lee who opened the restaurant two years ago explained: “I really believe that Nairn has a huge offering and is a fantastic destination for tourists, but all the businesses need to be working together to get it more recognised. Initiatives such as the North Coast 500 and the North East 250 have really taken off, and there is no reason why Nairn can’t create its own exciting tourist trap too. Tourism is booming in Scotland, but that means there is a lot more competition too, so we need to step up and make sure we are seen.
“From castles, the beaches, golf courses, parks, forests and walks, there is so much to see and do in Nairn, but I think we need to be shouting about it more.
“Naturally, my interest is food and drink and I have had the idea of running a festival with that theme for a while but never had time to get it off the ground. However, when Nairn BID was launched they seemed the perfect organisation to help co-ordinate the event and inspire the businesses to get involved. “
The event will run between 12-14 April during the Easter holidays.
“It’s really just a celebration of Nairn and all we have to offer. For 2019, the theme is food and drink, that is the hook to get people from within the town and outside it invested in the concept. But my hope is that this will be an annual event which can evolve over time.”
Michael Boylan, chairman of Nairn BID said he was delighted Lee had approached the organisation for support.
“Supporting the town and the businesses within it, is the reason that Nairn BID exists. I was delighted when Lee approached us with his idea and we are happy to support it. BID is a business-led initiative where businesses work together and invest collectively to improve the business environment and this idea fits that remit.”
Michael added that even non-food outlets can get involved.
“What we want to get across is that this event is for everyone and can benefit everyone if we all pull together to make it happen. Even the non-food and drink outlets can have a piece of the action. They may just need to be a bit more creative and we are happy to support all participants with ideas. What Nairn’s businesses don’t lack is creativity, so I am confident that we can create something special for the town. For example, a hairdresser could collaborate with a local baker to offer bacon butties to its first 20 customers. Or a non-food outlet could team up with a food or drink provider to sign post business to each other or offer a special discount. A florist could make bouquets that weekend using edible flowers.
“We want people to have fun with this and to think outside the box.”
All events however big or small will be listed.
There is also an opportunity to take a stand at a Food & Drink Market will be located in the Nairn Community & Arts Centre on April 13.