Published: 08:04, 28 August 2019
| Updated: 09:04, 28 August 2019
Some 40,000 people are expected to head to hop country this weekend when the annual Faversham Hop Festival comes to town.
The market town has been celebrating the humble hop in this way since 1990, recalling the traditional festivities associated with the hop harvest and the town's unrivalled hop heritage.
Now one of the largest free street festivals in the south east, the event boasts live music on five stages, hundreds of morris sides, street performers and processions - not forgetting an array of Kentish food and drink – plus, of course, beer produced in the town, local cider and Kentish apple juice.
There will also be the Hop Blessing ceremony and a traditional parade through the town, which on the Saturday which makes its way to the Preston Street Stage for 11.30am.
The town's historic brewer, and festival sponsor, Shepherd Neame, will be holding tours of its brewery and there will be a traditional funfair and family area with magic shows, workshops and Punch & Judy shows, next to the Hoppers Market stage in the Central Car Park. Activities run from 10am to 5pm on the Saturday and 11am to 5pm on the Sunday.
On the Brewery Stage on the Saturday, live music runs from 10.45am to 5.20pm, with acts including Dune Acoustic, Green Diesel, Taking Care of Vegas and Creek, and Groove Zoo - who will also close the festival at the Old Brewery Store on the Sunday with a free gig at 7.30pm.
On the Sunday, the Brewery Stage has music from 10am with the Cantiana Choir, which is followed by the hop blessing at 10.45am. Other acts playing include Swingtime Sweethearts, Sur Les Docks, Under the Wood, Squeeze Gut Alley and Collateral UK.
Morris sides range from the Creekside Cloggers to Dead Horse Morris &The Broomdashers, Bows 'n' Belles and Tribal Banshees, in the Market Place and outside the Post Office.
Shepherd Neame will also be offering its Oast Dodger green hop ale (4.5% ABV) which is made with freshly picked Kentish hops that have gone from garden to brewhouse in less than half a day - what gives green hop ale its distinctive flavour.
Each year there is a Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight, celebrating the fresh brew, which this year runs from Friday, September 27 to Sunday, October 13, launching at the Canterbury Food & Drink Festival. Find out more about green hop ale at kentgreenhopbeer.com
The Faversham Hop Festival will be on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1. Find out more at favershamhopfestival.org