One of the summer’s most popular events returns to North Tyneside later this month.
The Proper Food and Drink Festival is coming to the Spanish City Plaza on the weekend of 15 and 16 June.
It will provide a showcase for dozens of artisan chefs, bakers, brewers, crafts people and musicians and is expected to attract thousands of visitors.
The free-to-enter festival, which was launched in 2012, takes place across a number of North East locations each summer. This year it made debut in North Shields in May and has just visited South Shields.
“We love going to all places, but there is certainly something special about being next to Spanish City – and this year it’s going to be bigger and better than ever,” said Mark Deakin, who organises the events with his wife Shelley.
“We’ve been coming here when it was more like a building site than the iconic location it has become again, so we’re delighted that the new Spanish City is such a success.”
Mark and Shelley’s aim is 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. There is loads of live music and plenty of activities for children to enjoy.
A growing number of craft businesses are also showing and selling their products. One of the more eye-catching ones at Whitley Bay will be The Copper Piper. It was set up by Ken and Sherrie Harris two years ago after Ken made a coat hook out of leftover copper piping.
“It started as a bit of fun, then people asked whether I could make things for them and it’s evolved from there,” said 67-year-old Ken from Stockton who makes a wide range of accessories – all using copper piping – including lamps, candle sticks, clocks and signs. “It’s just coming up with new ideas all the time and everything is bespoke,” he said.
“These are very important festivals for businesses like Ken and Sherrie’s because pictures online don’t do justice to their products,” said Shelley Deakin. “Our events provide a perfect opportunity for them to get face-to-face feedback from their customers.”
The Whitley Bay Proper Food and Drink Festival is open from 10am to 5pm on 15 and 16 June. For more details visit www.properfoodanddrinkfestivals.co.uk/
The Deakins – along with fellow event organiser Nigel Holliday – are bringing a new festival to Whitley Bay later in the summer. It is called Feast by the Sea and will also take place on the Spanish City Plaza over weekends in July, August and September.