Darlington's inaugural food festival hailed a huge success

Darlington and Stockton Times: ICING ON THE CAKE: The cake parade makes it's way along High Row. PICTURE: Stuart Boulton ICING ON THE CAKE: The cake parade makes it's way along High Row. PICTURE: Stuart Boulton

THE sun shone and a carnival atmosphere filled a North-East town for the final day of an inaugural food festival.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Darlington to catch a glimpse of a giant edible cake version of Locomotion No1 – the world’s first passenger engine on the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825 – as it was paraded around the town.

This unique tribute to the region’s railway heritage was the grand finale at the first Distinctly Delicious Darlington Festival of Food, which took place over the bank holiday weekend.

After months of hard work and planning, organisers hailed the event a huge success and promised it would return next year.

Alex Hirst, manager of Distinct Darlington, which was behind the festival, said: “I thought it would be a success but I am a little blown away with how well it has gone.

“Even with the rain on Saturday people were saying they had sold out by lunchtime.

“It is just fantastic to see all the families out and enjoying themselves.”

The event included more than 20 stalls featuring products made by local artisan food producers, farmers, and street food sellers.

Food demonstrations by a number of top chefs, including Rockliffe Hall’s David Garlinge, also proved popular, as did pop-up bar, Gin Wizz, and a beer tent serving ice cold ale from the Richmond Brewing Company.

There was no shortage of tea-based entertainment either, with tricycle-riding tea ladies, Jean and Morag, and Birdie the 8ft Irish tea lady performing for visitors, while shopping trolley dance display team, Granny Turismo, entertained the crowds.

Mrs Hirst said the event was a chance to showcase food and local businesses from the Darlington area and beyond.

Fiona Reid, who runs her own business – Crumble and Slice – making homemade cakes, said she had sold out every day of the festival.

The 20-year-old from Middlesbrough said: “This is my first food festival and it has gone amazingly well.

“Everybody has been so friendly and welcoming.”

Running alongside the event on Saturday and Monday was the Love Your Local Market event, which saw 40 traders descend on Darlington as part of a national campaign to boost local economies.

Fire-eaters and stilt-walkers also entertained the crowds, while youngsters could take part in a circus skills workshop.

Comments (9)

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7:35pm Mon 26 May 14

Gob Marley says...

SERIOUSLY?
SERIOUSLY? Gob Marley
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Mon 26 May 14

Border Terrier says...

The mind boggles?
The mind boggles? Border Terrier
  • Score: -3

8:03pm Mon 26 May 14

harry2 says...

Looks like everyone had a good time.
Looks like everyone had a good time. harry2
  • Score: 3

9:19pm Mon 26 May 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

If this is the definition of a Huge Success, then no wonder the town is in such a state.
If this is the definition of a Huge Success, then no wonder the town is in such a state. thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 2

9:59am Tue 27 May 14

drochester11 says...

I was looking forward to this, but it was way off the mark. Even the people running the stalls were complaining about the massive, open spaces. The whole thing should have been in the market square, to keep it concentrated, lively and with some atmosphere, rather than being spread out along High Row as well.

For me, it fell way short of a "food festival". Looking forward to the one in Northallerton.
I was looking forward to this, but it was way off the mark. Even the people running the stalls were complaining about the massive, open spaces. The whole thing should have been in the market square, to keep it concentrated, lively and with some atmosphere, rather than being spread out along High Row as well. For me, it fell way short of a "food festival". Looking forward to the one in Northallerton. drochester11
  • Score: 8

12:38pm Tue 27 May 14

studio says...

drochester11 wrote:
I was looking forward to this, but it was way off the mark. Even the people running the stalls were complaining about the massive, open spaces. The whole thing should have been in the market square, to keep it concentrated, lively and with some atmosphere, rather than being spread out along High Row as well. For me, it fell way short of a "food festival". Looking forward to the one in Northallerton.
Couldnt agree more. Too spaced out, the hustle and bustle of a food festival is what makes it! some of the stands were very good though.

I hope if it takes place again next year a little more thought goes into the layout as it could be just what the town needs. Just ask the people of Bishop Auckland.
[quote][p][bold]drochester11[/bold] wrote: I was looking forward to this, but it was way off the mark. Even the people running the stalls were complaining about the massive, open spaces. The whole thing should have been in the market square, to keep it concentrated, lively and with some atmosphere, rather than being spread out along High Row as well. For me, it fell way short of a "food festival". Looking forward to the one in Northallerton.[/p][/quote]Couldnt agree more. Too spaced out, the hustle and bustle of a food festival is what makes it! some of the stands were very good though. I hope if it takes place again next year a little more thought goes into the layout as it could be just what the town needs. Just ask the people of Bishop Auckland. studio
  • Score: 7

1:09pm Tue 27 May 14

msg expat says...

Totally agree with the previous comments, we went yesterday and were very disappointed. What was there was very good and we managed to spend some money but we were expecting a lot more stalls.
And where were the 40 market stalls? we saw about 20...

What's the point of having a 'Market Place' if you're not going to use it? It might as well be turned into a car park!
Totally agree with the previous comments, we went yesterday and were very disappointed. What was there was very good and we managed to spend some money but we were expecting a lot more stalls. And where were the 40 market stalls? we saw about 20... What's the point of having a 'Market Place' if you're not going to use it? It might as well be turned into a car park! msg expat
  • Score: 4

2:21pm Tue 27 May 14

youngcrony says...

Darlington must the only market town on the face of this earth that has forgotten what a market square is for. Let's give our grossly overpaid members of the council a small clue what a market place is for - the clue is in the name.
Darlington must the only market town on the face of this earth that has forgotten what a market square is for. Let's give our grossly overpaid members of the council a small clue what a market place is for - the clue is in the name. youngcrony
  • Score: 5

10:14pm Tue 27 May 14

Happy today says...

Not as many people around as I expected. , I managed to park very easily on a bank holiday Monday , I thought I would have to search for a parking space but there was many parking spaces to choose from

Although I Did enjoy the granny's in trolley's and the Irish lady stilt walker , I agree market stalls were few and far between and a lot were empty
Not as many people around as I expected. , I managed to park very easily on a bank holiday Monday , I thought I would have to search for a parking space but there was many parking spaces to choose from Although I Did enjoy the granny's in trolley's and the Irish lady stilt walker , I agree market stalls were few and far between and a lot were empty Happy today
  • Score: 2

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