Free Bank Holiday festival offers food for thought as it makes its return to South Shields seafront park

Lovers of locally produced food and drink are in for a treat over this Bank Holiday weekend when a free event returns to South Shields.

Monday, 20th May 2019, 10:48 am
A range of stall holders will be offering their good at this weekend's event.

The Proper Food and Drink Festival – taking place in Bents Park on Saturday, Sunday and Monday - provides a showcase for dozens of artisan chefs, bakers and brewers and is expected to attract thousands of visitors.

Dishes from street food trucks, bars serving up drinks, stall holders selling items to take home and live music and children's activities are part of the programme.

Festival visitors will be able to pick up some ingredients to take home over the three-day event.

The South Shields Proper Food and Drink Festival is open from 10am to 5pm each day and entrance is free.

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“These are very important festivals for local producers as they provide a perfect opportunity for them to get face-to-face feedback from their customers – and as a result they really pull out all the stops,” said Shelley Deakin who runs the event with her husband Mark.

Proper Food and Drink Festivals started in 2012 and over the years many producers have used them as a stepping stone to bridge the gap from being talented amateurs to full-time professionals.

Food and drink businesses will join a programme packed with music and activities for families.

“It’s fantastic to see how they’ve progressed,” said Mark.

“Some have opened their own restaurants, while these events have helped others to realise just how good they are.

“We’re always delighted to bring the festival back to South Shields – and this year it will be better than ever.”

The first Proper Food and Drink Festival of 2019 was held in North Shields earlier this month.

After South Shields it visits Whitley Bay and Gosforth.

Later this summer Bents Park will play host to the third Great North Feast, which is also organised by the Deakins.

It takes place over the August Bank Holiday and entrance is also free.