Visitors are encouraged to plan their journeys to Seaham Food Festival in advance this weekend as the event makes its welcome return to the County Durham coastline.
There’s a full menu on offer at the free Durham County Council festival, with around 100 traders, demonstrations from TV chefs including Rosemary Shrager, John Whaite and Chris Baber, as well as a host of family entertainment.
The festival is set to play a key role in supporting the region’s economic recovery from the pandemic, supporting traders and providing a boost for businesses in the hospitality industry, which have been hard over the past 18 months.
It is also one of a number of festivals and events helping to showcase the county’s cultural offer as the council bids to become UK City of Culture 2025.
Following the coronavirus pandemic, measures have been taken to support public safety and help visitors, traders and event staff and volunteers feel more confident. As well as extending the festival site to provide more space, hand sanitiser units will be at all entry points and across the site. Traders have also been advised on Covid safety in advance of the festival.
Visitors are encouraged to maintain social distancing where possible and wear a face mask. There will also be a voluntary QR code on entrance to the site, which people are encouraged to use to check-in to the festival. Lateral flow tests are also recommended before attending.
An accessible park and ride service will be in operation for visitors between Spectrum Business Park (SR7 7TT) in Seaham and the town centre, with additional buses helping to avoid overcrowding. Buses will run from 9.30am on Saturday and Sunday, using the same drop off and pick up points from the festival site. The last return bus will run at 5.30pm on Saturday and 4.30pm on Sunday.
Return tickets cost £2 for adults, 50 pence for children aged five to 15 years old, and are free for those under five.
Town centre car parks will be open but may be busy and drivers should be aware that North Terrace will be closed from 5pm on Friday, 6 August to 9pm on Sunday, 8 August. Diversions will be in place during this time.
Parking around the green on North Terrace will also be suspended from 1am on Friday, 6 August until 9pm on Sunday, 8 August.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are delighted to bring back Seaham Food Festival to our stunning, heritage coastline. With celebrity chefs, tasty treats from around 100 traders and a host of family entertainment, there really is something for everyone at the festival.
“We hope it will be a busy weekend to help support our traders and local businesses which have been hard over the previous 18 months. Because of this, we would encourage people to plan their journeys in advance and use public transport or our park and ride service where possible. This will help minimise any delays and allow you to enjoy even longer at the festival.”
On Saturday, cooking stalwart Rosemary Shrager and Great British Bake Off favourites John Whaite and Briony May Williams will be cooking for the crowds from the council’s outdoor cookery theatre. Meanwhile, on Sunday, festivalgoers can look forward to seeing TV chef Chris Baber, hugely successful chef and food writer Maunika Gowardhan and Bake Off star Karen Wright.
A family entertainment programme featuring outdoor theatre, music, arts and crafts and beach activities will also be running across the weekend.