Families get into festive spirit as village’s Christmas celebrations begin

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Alan Smith, and Mayoress Coun Moira Smith, join Santa in his grotto at Whitburn Village's Winter Festival, held at the Barnes Institute.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Alan Smith, and Mayoress Coun Moira Smith, join Santa in his grotto at Whitburn Village's Winter Festival, held at the Barnes Institute.
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Families got into the festive spirit as a village’s Christmas celebrations were launched.

The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Alan and Coun Moira Smith, officially opened Whitburn Village’s Christmas celebrations on Saturday at the Barns Institute.

From left to right, Elijah Mutchell, Alex Carter, Harvey Mutchell, Francesca Carter and Ella Dunn at Whitburn Village's Winter Festival.

From left to right, Elijah Mutchell, Alex Carter, Harvey Mutchell, Francesca Carter and Ella Dunn at Whitburn Village's Winter Festival.

Visitors browsed a range of stalls, selling gifts from arts and crafts to festive food and drink.

There was also the opportunity to enter a raffle, competitions and the grand Winter Draw – which featured up to 40 prizes.

Children had their faces painted and enjoyed a range of games, while they watched tricks performed by magician Magic Mike.

Santa also stopped off at the event to collect youngsters’ Christmas lists at his grotto.

It was a pleasure to officially open this year’s Whitburn Winter Festival Fun Day

Coun Alan Smith

The Mayor said: “It was a pleasure to officially open this year’s Whitburn Winter Festival Fun Day.

“I was glad to see so many people attend the event and enjoy the family-friendly entertainment and festive celebrations. The Barnes Institute looked very festive thanks to its colourful decorations and was jam packed full of stalls selling Yuletide wares and activities for the whole family to get into the Christmas spirit.”

The Whitburn Winter Festival Fun Day was organised by the Barnes Institute and volunteers, with support from South Tyneside Council through funding from the East Shields and Whitburn Community Area Forum, as part of the village’s winter festival.

The event was welcomed by the Whitburn and Marsden ward members, Coun Tracey Dixon, Coun Peter Boyack and Coun Joyce Welsh.

Marsden Primary School choir entertain with a selection of Christmas songs.

Marsden Primary School choir entertain with a selection of Christmas songs.

Coun Dixon said: “This wonderful community event proved once again to be hugely popular with local residents and families across the borough.

“There was something for everyone to enjoy on the day which was filled full of Christmas cheer.”

Shops got into the Christmas spirit by putting up festive themed window dressings. Families and residents were also treated to Christmas carols and seasonal songs performed by children.

Santa's helpers Rev Ian Davies and Kathleen Callender.

Santa's helpers Rev Ian Davies and Kathleen Callender.