North Shields Proper Food and Drink Festival to provide a showcase for local suppliers

A showcase for the very best locally produced food and drink returns to North Shields over the Bank Holiday weekend.a-packed-northumberland-square-during-last-years-north-shields-proper-food-and-drink-festival

The Proper Food and Drink Festival is coming to Northumberland Square for the seventh time and promises to again delight visitors with its winning combination of tasty treats and entertainment.

The festival is open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Admission is free and with a promising weather forecast the festival’s bars and drinks producers are bracing themselves for a busy few days.

The Proper Food and Drink Festivals begin in 2012 and have since increased in number and popularity. After North Shields, the festival will be visiting another five towns – South Shields, Whitley Bay, Cramlington, Gateshead and Blyth – throughout the North East summer.

In 2018, for the first time, the organisers have linked up with Smooth Radio which will be running competitions and promotions on air.

“People who have come to the festivals know that music is very much part of the atmosphere and Smooth is a station that plays the type of songs which are in keeping with the spirit of our events,” said organiser Mark Deakin. “We are delighted to have them on board.”

Over the past six years The Proper Food and Drink Festivals have provided opportunities for local suppliers to sell their produce, whether that is gin or jam. A number of them have turned their passions into successful careers and even opened restaurants, cafes and shops.

“We are so proud of the support we have been able to provide,” said Mark, who with his wife and fellow organiser Shelley, were once producers themselves.

“We used to make chilli sauce and we know how hard it is to be up all hours getting ready for a festival and then spending two or three days literally on your feet,” he said.

“It can be really tough and they certainly earn their money.  I’m sure this year they’ll again get tremendous support from the tens of thousands of people who come along.”

Each festival will feature the produce from dozens of North East food and drink artisans.  Freshly cooked street food, inspired by cultures all around the world, will also be available. Alcoholic and soft drinks can be bought from bars and stalls.

“Other festivals seem to come and go,” said Shelley Deakin, “but we like to think we have become a bit of a diary date for lots of people in the North East.”

Proper Food and Drink Festivals:

5, 6, 7 May – Northumberland Square, North Shields.

26, 27, 28 May – Bents Park, South Shields.

16, 17 June – Whitley Bay, Spanish City Plaza.

28, 29 July – Cramlington, Seven Oaks Park.

4, 5 August – Gateshead, Saltwell Park.

11, 12 August – Blyth, Ridley Park.

All festivals are open from 10am-5pm. Apart from Gateshead – where there is a small admission fee of £2 – entrance is free.