Bishop Auckland Food Festival back after two years

THE forecast did not stop people coming out in droves to sample some tasty treats at a North East food festival which is back for the first time since the Covid pandemic.

Bishop Auckland Food Festival has always been a major event for the town, bringing in crowds of hundreds to enjoy local and regional food.

The festival usually takes place in the spring however, due to Covid restrictions this year it was pushed back to October.

The festival was completely cancelled last year due to the lockdown.

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Visitors were treated to tasty dishes from over 100 traders and watched top celebrity chefs and bakers such as MasterChef’s John Torode and Bake Off’s Briony May Williams as they cooked up a storm for audiences.

The event had a large number of displays, workshops, and entertainment to satisfy people’s taste buds, and the festival is expected to attract thousands of people across the weekend, so organisers are encouraging visitors to think about their travel arrangements.

Kirsten Walton from the Velveteen Rabbit said: “We are very excited to be here and the weather hasn’t stopped people from coming out.

“We are back after two years, and it is great to see the other producers and market holders.

“This is how we started our business so it’s a nostalgic trip for us, we used to come to the market here every week when we first started out.

“It’s a chance for use all to see each other, meet new customers and sell our business to people.

“This time we are trying to promote our new café which we are trying to open in Northallerton.”

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Simon Raine from Weardale Cheese said: “I love this festival, it’s been very well attended just like it would have been in the spring.

“This sort of thing is what people need.”

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “It’s been a fantastic day here in Bishop Auckland and we are looking forward to already more culinary fun tomorrow. Despite the weather, the turnout was bright and there was such a good air in the town.

“It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves and supporting local traders and businesses.

“Events like Bishop Auckland Food Festival are also a meaningful part of our bid to be UK City of Culture 2025, as they demonstrate the strength of culture to bring people together and enhance the vibrancy of our communities.

“If you are attending the festival this weekend, please sustain the bid by including the #durham2025 if you proportion pictures on social media.”

Bishop Auckland Food Festival will continue tomorrow, Sunday, October 3.

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