The sunny South Shields summer will end on a high note when the Great North Feast returns to Bents Park over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The first Feast, one of the North East’s biggest food events, attracted thousands of visitors to the town last year.
Next weekend’s highlights will include street food inspired by tastes from around the world, a food market providing the very best in local produce, cocktails, craft ales and lots of live music. There are also plenty of activities to keep the children entertained.
The Great North Feast is organised by the team behind the hugely successful Proper Food and Drink festivals which have visited five towns – including South Shields – over the summer.
“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,” said organiser Mark Deakin.
The event runs from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and entrance is free.
The Great North Feast and Proper Food and Drink Festivals help to showcase the growing number of local producers who have made a business out of their hobbies and passions.
A couple from South Shields for example, who moved away from the town 20 years ago, will be returning to the town to sell their gin and rum at The Great North Feast.
Steven and Sally Green, with the help of a master distiller, launched Harrogate Tipple a year-and-a-half ago.
Their drinks proved extremely popular at the South Shields Proper Food and Drink Festival, as did their eye-catching transport.
Between leaving their home town and starting the business the couple had highly successful careers in television, with Steven working on programmes such as Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Blind Date as well as producing UK coverage of the Oscars.
“It will be good to welcome them back,” said Mark Deakin. “It’s great to see so many people who are prepared to make a brand new start in something they really believe.”
The last festival of the summer is also the final chance to enter a competition run by Smooth Radio. It is offering a weekend for two in London, staying at the five star Renaissance Hotel with dinner at Jamie Oliver’s 15 restaurant. Travel is also included.
“We’re delighted to have them on board. People who come to our events know that music is very much part of what we provide, so Smooth is the perfect partner for us,” said Mark, whose thoughts are already turning to next summer’s events – and in particular the three-day North East Chilli Fest.
“It was a great success this year, but we’re always looking to evolve the event to provide extra value for our loyal visitors,” said Mark, who is keen to hear from local businesses or organisations who are interested in discussing sponsorship of the festival.
“Come and see me at the Great North Feast or drop me an e-mail at email@example.com,” he said.