Festival parade to mark a rich maritime history

Susan Wear, Director of Corporate Affairs for Port of Tyne and Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, with some of The Creative Seeds shimmering costume creations. Picture by Tim Richardson

Susan Wear, Director of Corporate Affairs for Port of Tyne and Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, with some of The Creative Seeds shimmering costume creations. Picture by Tim Richardson

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South Tyneside’s rich maritime history will be brought to life in vibrant fashion when the annual festival parade makes waves through South Shields this summer.

Visitors will be taken on a voyage of discovery as the Borough’s shipbuilding history and port form a central theme of this year’s Maritime Mayhem Summer Parade on Saturday, July 2.

Spectacular floats adorned with nautical colours and decorations, marching bands, stilt walkers, puppets and dance troupes will feature in the carnival-style parade.

It will also mark 150 years of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade as well as showcasing the familiar sights and sounds of South Tyneside’s vibrant coastal community.

The Summer Parade, which is a key highlight of the free three-month South Tyneside Festival, is being delivered thanks to support from Port of Tyne.

Susan Wear, Director of Corporate Affairs for the Port of Tyne, said: “The Port of Tyne is delighted to sponsor South Tyneside’s summer parade again and looking forward to a spectacular event on Saturday 2 July.”

The Summer Parade, which is also being delivered thanks to support from local award-winning seafood business, Colmans Fish and Chips, and South Tyneside College, will sail through South Shields, from the Town Hall along Fowler Street and Ocean Road to the seafront, where the entertainment will continue with live music and maritime themed family friendly activities in Bents Park.

Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “We are excited about the Summer Parade and proud it will celebrate the Borough’s rich maritime history including our links to seafaring, shipbuilding and lifesaving.

“South Tyneside Festival parade is going to be a spectacular event, with more than 2000 people expected to take part, and we’re absolutely delighted to have Port of Tyne supporting us.

“The parade promises to be a dazzling display of rich colour and sounds, drawing crowds along to our stunning seafront.”

The council is working with artistic director Garner Harris from Creative Seed on the parade, which forms part of a wider programme of free live music, entertainment and activities making up the South Tyneside Festival 2016.

Other highlights of the three-month event, organised by South Tyneside Council, which runs until the end of August, include live music in the Amphitheatre, open air Sunday concerts featuring major artists and events, entertainment and activities.

This includes a programme of brass band music by the seaside, a classical concert with Proms in the Park, family fun days and children’s entertainment with the return of the Kids Fun Fest.