South Shields steps up to the plate again to host food festivals

Crowds enjoy the Proper Food Festival held at Bents Park, South Shields this summer.

Crowds enjoy the Proper Food Festival held at Bents Park, South Shields this summer.

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A double helping will be served up to foodies as festivals make plans to set up their stalls next year.

Two events have been confirmed for bank holidays, with the same team behind the celebrations to be hosted in South Shields.

I love Christmas as much as anybody, but at this time of the year when it’s cold and dark you also need something to look forward to and note in your diary.

Mark Deakin

The Proper Food and Drink Festival, which is free to enter, returns to Bents Park for a fourth year on 27, 28 and 29 May and the first Great North Feast heads to the park between 25 and 28 August.

Mark Deakin, who with his wife Shelley is organising the events, said the Great North Feast was going to be “huge, surprising and amazingly exciting.”

Further details will be released in the New Year.

“All I can say for now is it’s going to be a massive celebration of food and drink,” said Mark.

“It will also be very different.

“We are, for example, going to bring together all members of the community for a social eating experience which has never before been seen in the North East.

“We also intend to break loads of records.”

This year the crowds turned out in force for the South Shields Proper Food and Drink Festival over the May Bank Holiday weekend, when 60 producers set up shop.

Shelley added: “We’ve now run quite a few Proper Food and Drink Festivals throughout the North East and I think we’ve got the recipe just about right.

“We want to appeal to the growing number of people who appreciate and enjoy beautifully produced food and drink, but also couples and families who just want a great day out.”

“I love Christmas as much as anybody, but at this time of the year when it’s cold and dark you also need something to look forward to and note in your diary,” said Mark. “That’s why we’re announcing it now.”

In addition to South Shields, Proper Food Festivals will return to North Shields, Whitley Bay and Cramlington, with Blyth and Gateshead to host their first events.