BUTCHERS have their bangers at the ready for annual Sausage Festival this weekend.

Saturday will see a selection of sausages available to taste test at pubs around old Harwich as well as the annual sausage throwing competition.

The Harwich Sausage Festival, is in its seventh year, but for the first time will see its winner go through to the “Champion of Champions” Sausage Competition in London Harwich Camra stalwart, Richard Oxborrow, who originally came up with the idea of the festival, said: “All of a sudden, a quirky Harwich event took on a whole new meaning for our competing butchers.

“It is still designed as a fun day out aimed at encouraging people to socialise in our excellent local pubs but it now also presents the possibility of a national award for the winner.”

The event starts at 11am with entertainment including Punch and Judy, balloon toy making and an address by the Town Crier.

The sausage throwing competition begins at 11.30am between St Nicholas Church and the Hanover Pub and will be overseen by sausage marshals and a cricket umpire.

Richard added: “T As always, the sausages will be available to taste in the Alma Inn, the Hanover and the New Bell and the winning sausage will be chosen by public vote following a blind tasting.”

“This is a fun day out for all of the family and is now drawing visitors into the town as well as appealing to residents.

“It’s a great event with a lovely atmosphere.”

This year the participating butchers are: Warnes of Parkeston, Page Butchers of Ramsey, Wrights of Frinton, Frinton Road Butchers of Holland on Sea, Chas Bower Butchers of Holland on Sea, Smiths Butchers of Brightlingsea, Primrose Pork of Great Bromley, Ragmarsh Farm Shop of Manningtree and Shaw’s Farm Meats of Dovercourt Market.

There will also be artisan entries from the Alma Inn and the New Bell Inn along with a wild card entry chosen by the organisers which will be announced on the day.

The winning sausage will be announced at about 3pm at the New Bell Inn.