Food, drink and more will be on offer all weekend in Alnwick Market Place as the annual Taste of the North event takes place.
It will be on from 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.
Event manager, Graeme Nicholson said: “At the heart of our ‘taste’ menu is a celebration of local food and drink. I am very keen that we support local producers and local street food vendors.
“Among the 50 stalls in the Market Place there will be some great flavours and savoury treats not to be missed including Longhorn Smokehouse BBQ, new to Alnwick Market Place, as well as local favourites, Mivesi.”
The regular Saturday market will be stretched out along Bondgate Within, with fresh food, flowers, household goods and more crafts and jewellery.”
Ken Henderson, of Produced in Northumberland, said: “We have just returned from a visit to the Houses of Parliament where we showcased the many talents – food, drink and handcrafts – of our local producers in Northumberland in a presentation to MPs and peers.
A number of our members have stalls in Alnwick this weekend, and I will be there as well promoting the Produced in Northumberland label and encouraging local businesses and local residents to take pride in the rich variety of produce to be found in our county.”
There will also be a wealth of live music at the event.
Philip Angier, Alnwick Markets chairman, said: “Shakespeare describes music as the food love, so we have music to charm you as you browse the market stalls. “This year’s event will feature live music from a wealth of young local talent including the Duchess’s Community High School Ceilidh Band, saxophonist Rachel Stevens, and for the first time performing in Alnwick, award-winning young drummer, Marvin Hanson.
“We are also delighted to welcome – not quite so local but definitely a taste of the north – the Bryne School Band from Time, Alnwick’s twin town in Norway.”
Alnwick Mayor, Alan Symmonds, said: “The town comes alive when the Market Square is buzzing. I am very pleased that Alnwick Town Council is continuing its support for A Taste of the North. The council is in the process of reviewing its town centre priorities. Events which help to draw more shoppers and visitors into the centre of town and to showcase Alnwick at its best have got to be good for our local economy. I am also delighted to be welcoming back the Bryne School Band.”
As a family event, brids of prey from Old English Falconry and the charming Barnacre alpacas will also pay a visit.
Melanie Corn, marketing and promotions officer, said: “We have traditional craft demonstration with Anne Turnbull, demonstrating basketry and feltwork on Saturday and Rob Turner demonstrating wood-turning on Sunday.
“However, one the thrills of the weekend programme for me is the visit on Saturday of the Help for Heroes Charity Motorcycle Cavalcade. The roar of score of gleaming Harley Davidson motorbikes echoes right around the town centre, and the spectacle as they stream into town is quite unique.
“A Taste of the North is truly a feast for all the senses – sounds, sights, smells street food cooking, flavours sweet and savoury, and friendly animals and birds to touch and stroke. And if your feet our weary, there are benches and tables around the Market Place at which to rest and relish the whole experience.”
A Taste of Northumbria, based in the Market Place, will also be involved. Jannick Genouw said: “We are very pleased to be part of the Taste of the North weekend. Part of the enjoyment of visiting an area so rich in tradition as Northumberland is to sample local produce during your stay and to take away a reminder of the experience with some local food and drink. I am sure that it is going to be a busy week-end and a great chance to show our pride in our local produce.”
Visitors to the event will also receive a free copy of Alnwick’s Good Food Guide, an initiative of the Chamber of Trade, which has proved very popular since it was launched in March.
Linda Wood-Mitchell, who co-ordinated the guide, said: “We want both visitors to the town and local residents to know about the huge choice local cafes, bars and restaurants around the town from quick service take-aways to atmospheric pubs and restaurants in which to enjoy a leisurely meal – many serving dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Northumberland is bristling with hard-working local entrepreneurs wanting to give customers the best possible visitor experience. I hope those attending Taste of the North will use their Good Food Guides to come back and enjoy food and drink in Alnwick again and again.”
You can find out more about the full programme of events for Taste of the North on the Facebook page, AlnwickTasteoftheNorth or our website www.alnwickmarkets.co.uk,” says Melanie Corn.
Keep up to date with the event on Facebook.