Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Issue 80

South Tyneside Festival is back this summer and organisers are making sure it will have been well worth the wait.

Like most events the festival was hit by the Covid pandemic, but now it makes a dynamic return having undergone a rebrand as This Is South Tyneside Festival, with what promises to be a spectacular carnival and celebrity appearances in the mix.

The festival runs from July to September and is a joyful celebration of summer, packed with events and shows including free concerts at Bents Park by chart toppers including Will Young and Ella Henderson.

On Saturday 2 July, clear your diary and head on down to the not-to-be-missed carnival parade, which is making a sensational return after the two-year hiatus. Forget Rio, New Orleans and Sydney – the real spirit of carnival is to be found in South Tyneside with the all singing, all dancing carnival parade.

It’ll be a spectacle like no other with neon colours, vibrant floats – and perhaps more controversially a display created using empty crisp packets and milk cartons! All will be revealed on the day, although carnival specialists, Creative Seed, who put the parade together on behalf of South Tyneside Council, have revealed that the discarded packaging will be part of a section of the carnival devoted to recycling.

”We’ve been collecting all kind of empty packets to use, and the results are going to be spectacular,” promised Garner Harris of Creative Seed.

Around 20 groups have been getting their creative juices flowing in preparation for the big day constructing fantastic floats and eye-catching costumes.

”It’s fantastic to be back and we are going to make up for lost time with some absolutely amazing costumes and displays,” said Garner. ”Big, bold and colourful is what we’re working to, and we hope this is going to be the most memorable parade ever.”

The parade will kick off at South Shields Town Hall and make its way along a new route via Beach Road and Anderson Street, before continuing along Ocean Road and Sea Road to Bents Park, where there will be a full programme of family-friendly entertainment for the remainder of the afternoon. Spectators can expect dance performances, an aerial act, live music, interactive walkabout characters, craft stalls, children’s crafts, face painting and more.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: ”We are incredibly excited to see the iconic Summer Parade returning.

”The event is a festival tradition and is always a real spectacle for both those who get involved and line the route. It brings together so many local groups in a vibrant display of true community spirt and is much loved by residents and visitors alike. ”With carnival inspired costumes, music and dance performances, colourful props and floats, the parade is sure to wow crowds once again.”

And it doesn’t stop there because the parade programme is also being expanded this year to help create a carnival weekend with artists, including stunning street theatre and an impressive circus show, performing on the Sandhaven promenade on the Sunday (3 July). The Summer Parade and street theatre is being organised by South Tyneside Council and supported by Arts Council England. It is part of a packed programme of events throughout the summer which includes the free Sunday concerts featuring Will Young, Ella Henderson, 80s pop sensations Shalamar and retro hitmakers Whigfield, Phats & Small, D:ream, Llorenna and Sonique.

There’ll be Music in the Bandstand every Saturday from 23 July to 3 September too at Sunderland’s beautiful Victorian bandstand at the seafront park Other events include Proms in the Park, a range of musical entertainment at the Amphitheatre and a Kids Fun Fest, children’s entertainers, and family-friendly plays. The full programme for the festival can be viewed at www.southtynesidefestival.co.uk. For updates, follow South Tyneside Events on Facebook or STynesideEvents on Twitter.

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