FOODIES can pencil two big events on their calendar after organisers announced free food festivals would return to County Durham.

Subject to coronavirus restrictions, Seaham Food Festival will take place on Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8.

Bishop Auckland Food Festival will be held in October, with dates to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Both give regional traders a chance to showcase their produce alongside celebrity cooks, demonstrations and entertainment and attract tens of thousands of people to the towns.

The Durham County Council events were cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, along with most other activities in the local authority’s festival programme. Many were replaced with online events.

By staging the food festivals later than normal, the council is hopeful it can reinstate the events in Seaham and Bishop Auckland this year.

Both festivals are expected to return to their usual dates in 2022.

Seaham Food Festival will look and feel a bit different for traders and visitors to ensure the safety of the public and everyone involved in the event.

It will again be located on Terrace Green, overlooking County Durham’s stunning heritage coast, and will serve up the same vibrant mix of food and drink stalls, celebrity chefs, cookery demonstration and family-friendly entertainment.

Alison Clark, head of culture, sport and tourism at Durham County Council, said: “We have reviewed the Government roadmap on the easing of national restrictions carefully and are now making arrangements for the return of our food festivals to Seaham and Bishop Auckland.

“Keeping people safe is our top priority and we will provide more information about the measures we will put in place in Seaham shortly, as well as announcing the celebrity chef line-up and information about the traders and entertainment.”

Initially, the council will invite traders that did not get to trade at Seaham last year to reapply, before opening up the applications to other interested food and drink producers. Traders can register their interest online at

For the latest news about Seaham Food Festival visit the website or follow @SeahamFoodFest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.