Free Early May Bank Holiday festival heading to North Shields

Lovers of locally produced food and drink are in for a treat over the Early May Bank Holiday when a popular free event returns to Northumberland Square in North Shields.

The Proper Food and Drink Festival has taken place in the town every year since 2012 and provides a showcase for dozens of artisan chefs, bakers and brewers.

The name of the event reflects its organisers’ aim to provide quality without fuss. Meals and snacks are served up at street food trucks. Bars will quench festival-goers’ thirsts, and numerous stall-holders will be selling food and drink to take home to try. Local producer Alyson Archer of Simply Cheesecake at the Proper Food and Drink Festival

There is also loads of live music, an area devoted to crafts and plenty of activities for children to enjoy.

The North Shields Proper Food and Drink Festival takes place from Saturday 4 May until the Bank Holiday Monday. It opens from 10am to 5pm each day and entrance is free.

“These are very important festivals for local producers as they provide a real opportunity for them to get face-to-face feedback from their customers – and as a result they pull out all the stops,” said Shelley Deakin who, with her husband Mark, runs the events.IMG_4843

Over the years many producers have used The Proper Food and Drink Festivals as a stepping stone to bridge the gap from being talented amateurs to full-time professionals.

“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.

“Our first festival took place in North Shields so we’re always delighted to bring it back – and this year it will be better than ever.”

On 15 and 16 June The Proper Food and Drink Festival visits the Spanish City Plaza in Whitley Bay, which is also the venue of three new events run by the Deakins and experienced event organiser Nigel Holliday.  They are called a Feast by the Sea and will take place over weekends in July, August and September. Admission is also free.

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