Food festival to welcome bank holiday crowd as it makes debut at seafront park

A dish is served up to diners at the Proper Food and Drink Festival in South Shields earlier this year.
A dish is served up to diners at the Proper Food and Drink Festival in South Shields earlier this year.

A festival is set to welcome hungry foodies as it opens its gates for the first time this bank holiday weekend.

The Great North Feast takes place in Bents Park in South Shields, with the team behind the Proper Food and Drink festivals leading the celebrations.

Crowds enjoying a visit to the Proper Food and Drink Festival, which is run by the same team behind the Great North Feast.

Crowds enjoying a visit to the Proper Food and Drink Festival, which is run by the same team behind the Great North Feast.

The organisers have already visited six town so far this summer, including the seafront park back in May, and also head up the North East Chill Fest.

Entry to the new event will be free.

Mark Deakin, who launched the Proper Food and Drink Festivals five years ago with wife Shelley, said: "We’ve had a great few months welcoming thousands and thousands of people to our events.

Shelley added: "For the last festival of the summer we’ve decided to do something a bit bigger and a bit different.

“It’s a chance to celebrate and enjoy all the fantastic food and drink produced in the North East and, above all, we want people to have fun.”

At the Great North Feast, guests can visit the Get into the Spirit VIP area, which will feature drinks made in the north.

Presented by Savour Magazine, guests are invited to try their favourite tipple: gin, rum, whisky, vodka, cocktails or the new Noveltea – a blend of teas and spirits.

Entrance to Get into the Spirit costs £6, which includes a drink.

The team say there will be street food to suit every taste, along with bars, a producer market, live music and food challenges.

The Great North Feast has also been chosen to host the regional heats and final of the 2017 UK Chilli Cook-Off Championship.

The winner is guaranteed a place in the World Chilli Championship in Alabama, where $35,000 of prize money is on offer.

The top three at South Shields will win up to £150 in cash and they will all go forward to compete in the UK’s Grand Final in September.

Teams will have four hours to cook from scratch a gallon of their finest chilli.

It will be judged on appearance, aroma, consistency, taste and aftertaste.

It costs £10 to enter a team and there is no limit on the number of team members.

Mark added: "“Whether you are a student or in your 70s, everybody thinks their chilli is the best – and now it’s your time to prove it."

The Great North Feast is open from 10am to 6pm from Saturday, August 26, to Bank Holiday Monday, August 28, at Bents Park.