Published April 03, 2017 8.29am
Tens of thousands of hungry food fans descended on County Durham this weekend for the ever-popular Bishop Auckland Food Festival resulting in bumper sales for many stallholders and local businesses alike.
The two-day event is the highlight of the area's culinary calendar and draws huge numbers of visitors and families, who flock to taste the delicious dishes on offer from nearly 100 local, regional and northern food and drink producers.
The weekend brought record sales for many stallholders who sold out early on both days and shops and businesses across the town centre also reported strong sales.
Stephen Howell, our head of culture and sport, said: "The festival provides entertainment for the thousands who return every year, but also brings vital income into our county.
"Durham has a growing profile as a visitor destination and it has therefore been particularly pleasing this year to see that BAFF has teamed up with Visit County Durham's Taste Durham brand, showcasing the finest suppliers and producers across the county."
Held in the Market Place, Town Hall, Newgate Shopping Centre and a specially created pop-up venue on Newgate Street, this year's annual showcase of the best home-grown and handmade produce from County Durham and the wider region attracted 25,000 visitors.
Visitors enjoyed live cookery demonstrations, culinary masterclasses, a pop-up restaurant street entertainment and live stand-up comedy.
Foodie highlights included produce from the likes of Brown and Blonde bakery, Broom Mill Farm Shop, Durham Distillery, Parlour Made Cheese, Sweet Sally Cinnamon, Weardale and Teesdale Cheese makers, Wiga Wagaa Chili and William Peat Butcher.
Kate James, our festival and events manager, said: "It's been fantastic to see so many people visit or come to trade, not just from the local community, but from far and wide.
"Thank you to all the families who came, to all the volunteers and to the people of Bishop Auckland for once again providing such a warm welcome to everyone."