SUNDERLAND Food and Drink Festival is planning to plant some new ideas, to help make the event more eco-friendly.

The popular festival will return once again over the weekend of 7-9 June, with a packed programme of live music, continental markets and family friendly activities.

This time round organisers, Sunderland BID, has added in an extra element which a programme of events to make youngsters think about the environment in a fun way.

Keel Square will play host to a range of gardening-themed events, where people will be invited to decorate their own plant pot, learn how to make a bird feeder from recycled materials and grow flowers such as marigolds and sunflowers as well as a range of herbs.

There’ll also be the chance to grow grass haired characters, with help on hand over the weekend from entertainers, Pete and Ged the Gardeners, who will teach youngsters that growing your own fruit, veg and flowers can be fun.

Sunderland’s services for children, young people and families, Together for Children, will also be highlighting the importance of renewable energy by making smoothies using a bicycle-powered blender.

Sunderland BID is also introducing an exclusive Sunderland Food and Drink Festival reusable cup which will be available for £1, with buyers encouraged to take the cup to the festival bars, rather than get a new one each time.

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, hopes people will get behind these new ventures.

“The Food and Drink Festival is always very popular and we’re always trying to think up new ways to get people involved,” she said.

“These fun activities come with the added benefit of teaching young people about the environment in a really engaging way and hopefully encouraging them – and their families – to think about how they can easily grow things for themselves.”

Keel Square will also see a whole range of exciting entertainment taking place across the weekend, including performances from Abba tribute band, Voulez 2 and former X Factor finalist, Amelia Lily.                  

Along with the Keel Square activities, the festival will also run in both Market Square and High Street West.

The international market will feature favourite cuisines from across the globe including Indian, Germa, Greek, Mexican, the Caribbean, Hungarian, Thai, Turkish, Chinese and Italian.

Around 50 traders are expected to take part, which includes sellers of international handicrafts and a number of local food stalls including Fat Hippo and Twisted Chick.

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This year’s event will take place on 7, 8, and 9 June 2024 and will be featured across Keel Square, High Street West, and Market Square. 

Join us for a full-fledged line-up of Food, Drink and Entertainment.