Bishop Auckland Food Festival is back this weekend! Here’s all you need to know

Bishop Auckland Food Festival returns to the town this weekend, bringing celebrity chefs, street food traders, live entertainment, and fun family activities.

The festival, organised by Durham County Council, will take over the town’s Market Place from 10am to 5pm this Saturday and 10am to 4pm this Sunday (20 and 21 April).

Last year’s event pulled in an estimated 28,000 visitors, and people attending this year are being encouraged to travel by public transport or use the park and ride service.

Here’s all you need to know about this free to attend event…

Celebrity chefs’ cookery demonstration times

A host of celebrity chefs including Matt Tebbutt and BOSH! duo Henry Firth and Ian Theasby will treat the audience to cookery demonstrations throughout the weekend.

Saturday’s fun kicks off with 2023 Great British Bake Off finalist, Dan Hunter, who will be cooking at 10.30am and 1.30pm.

He’s followed at 11.30am and 2.30pm by the vegan and plant-based duo, BOSH!, and ITV This Morning regular, Marcus Bean, who will appear at 12.30pm and 3.30pm.

Getting Sunday’s demonstrations off to a flyer is chef, author and entrepreneur, Cyrus Todiwala, who takes to the cookery stage at 10.30am and 1.10pm.

BBC Saturday Kitchen presenter, Matt Tebbutt, will follow at 11.20am and 2pm, with food content creator and bestselling author Meliz Berg cooking at 12.20pm and 3pm.

More than 150 stalls selling mouthwatering produce

The finest food and drink producers from County Durham and beyond will have stalls at the festival, with curries, crepes, cocktails and mocktails among the delights on offer.

And if that’s not enough there’ll be Sicilian and Sri Lankan street food, smash burgers and crispy duck wraps, as well as sweet treats such as churros and pancakes.

Cheeses, jams, quirky gins and bubble teas, and even handmade dog treats are also on the menu.

Alongside the familiar faces that regular festivalgoers will recognise, there’ll be 30 new traders selling everything from paella to Portuguese street food.

Lots of free family fun to be had

A feast of free family fun lies in wait for festival visitors this weekend, when the streets will be filled with live music, theatre and comedy.

The street entertainment line-up includes regular festival favourites, the North Tyneside Steel Band and the hilarious Granny Turismo.

There’ll be music from the likes of The Speakeasies and Rock Choir, and gentle puppet and shadow shows in Bishop Auckland Town Hall.

There’ll also be free family-friendly craft workshops in gazebos, as well as inside Newgate Shopping Centre, and activities and performances within the grounds of Auckland Castle.

Getting there

An accessible park and ride service shuttling visitors between Bishop Auckland College (DL14 6JZ) and the town centre will be in operation throughout.

Buses will run from 9.30am on Saturday and Sunday, with the last return bus running at 5.30pm on Saturday and 4.30pm on Sunday.

Return tickets cost £2.50 for those aged 16 and over and 50p for children aged five to 15, while under fives travel free.

Town centre car parks will be open but may be busy and some town centre roads will be closed for the event.

‘Come and make a weekend of it’

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “Festival weekend is upon us and we’re expecting yet another great turn out.

“The festival is always a favourite in our annual events calendar and it’s easy to see why – it brings people together to have fun and try some superb food and drink. It gives businesses a chance to get their products in front of new customers too.

“A huge amount of hard work goes into organising events like this and the many others we host. We’re really looking forward to welcoming everybody to Bishop Auckland for the festival and we’d love people to come and make a weekend of it.”

‘The Culture County’

Bishop Auckland Food Festival is just one of the many cultural events taking place in County Durham this year, cementing Durham’s position as the ‘culture county’ and demonstrating the council’s ongoing commitment to culture-led regeneration.

This includes delivering key projects within County Durham’s shortlisted UK City of Culture bid; progressing major capital projects and raising the county’s profile as a fantastic place to live, work, visit and invest.

Bishop Auckland Food Festival is supported by Bishop Auckland Town Council and Durham County Council’s Towns & Villages programme.

Where to find out more

To keep updated on all the latest Bishop Auckland Food Festival news visit the event’s website and follow its social media channels.

Dan Jones Images
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