Thousands of people are expected at the Bishop Auckland Food Festival this weekend.
Organisers are staging the event over two days and hope it will attract up to 30,000 visitors.
Food producers from across the North of England are taking part. Visit County Durham says it is a huge boost for the area's economy.
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A former Premier League footballer has been cleared of raping a woman he met in a nightclub.
72-year-old Arthur Bierton from Thirsk was convicted at Teesside Crown Court of abusing two young girls in the 1980s and 90s.