Parade of thousands join in magical event as community groups gather for South Tyneside Summer Parade

There was a monster turn out as creatures joined a celebration procession through the streets.

The annual South Tyneside Summer Parade was given the title Monsters, Myths and Magic, with groups from across the borough joining in the march from Westoe Road, down Fowler Street and Ocean Road and along to Bents Park, where an afternoon of entertainment was lined up.

The procession paraded by the town hall in South Shields.

The procession paraded by the town hall in South Shields.

Around 2,000 people of all ages took part in the parade, while thousands more lined the streets to cheer them on.

Costumes included unicorns, witches and wizards, a magician, dragons, gnomes and Disney-inspired monsters, while The Cultural Spring adopted a suffragette theme to mark 100 years since women were first given the vote, hoisting a banner in tribute to the late Dr Anne Seymour MBE, a former hospital surgeon and campaigner from South Shields, who died in 2016.

Westoe Brass Band performed ahead of the march's launch, with the marchers and teams from dance schools joined by decorated trucks and bikers as they made their way past South Shields Town Hall and the borough's dignitaries to the seafront.

Groups included charities, support organisations, churches, care homes, cadets, community associations, Beavers, Scouts, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, with Ray Spencer compèring the event.

The Cruse Crew were among the support organisations which joined in today's celebrations.

The Cruse Crew were among the support organisations which joined in today's celebrations.

The large displays were made by Creative Seed, which worked with community groups to piece together the outfits and centre pieces.

The procession was closed as the civic party, led by the brass band, followed on, with their group led by South Shields FC, which was invited to join in for the second year on a decorated open top bus in recognition of the fact the side was crowned as 2017/18 Evo-Stick North Division champions.

Mayor Ken Stephenson said: "I think this is a brilliant day for the borough.

"It's important for the community to be brought together and it is also good to have South Shields FC here following their promotion, we're proud to have them.

Wizards, angels and unicorns were among the fancy dress outfits worn at the Summer Parade.

Wizards, angels and unicorns were among the fancy dress outfits worn at the Summer Parade.

"This is just one of a number of free events which will we will holding during the summer for people to enjoy."

Among those to join in the day was St Michael's Rainbows as part of the entry by the organisation's division, with its members dressed as unicorns.

Leader Cheryl Scott said: "I think it's a very important event.

"We've been taking part in it for years."

The streets of South Shields town centre were lined with well wishers who cheered on the groups.

The streets of South Shields town centre were lined with well wishers who cheered on the groups.

Bright Futures Young Women's Project, based in John Williamson Street invited its members to dress as glittery fairies, with around 50 people joining in on the day.

"We took part in last year's parade and it has such a brilliant atmosphere," said Helen Bowman, the project's managing director.

"People love to get dressed up and it's lovely to be part of something where we've all worked together, we've been preparing for about six weeks."

Hebburn's Enpointe Dance Academy dressed up as gnomes.

Principal Joanna Barron said: "It's amazing and it's the first time we've done it and we decided to do this instead of a dance competition.

"It's nice to be part of the community and it's also been nice that the whole school has take part in it together."

Gnomes were among the mythical characters to inspired fancy dress outfits for the event.

Gnomes were among the mythical characters to inspired fancy dress outfits for the event.

Highlights at the Bents Park part of the event included a retelling of the classic Greek story of Icarus, led by the talented team at Southpaw Dance Company, which featured a 16ft pair of wings controlled by dancers and puppeteers.

Michael Jackson impersonator James Aston also be performed some of the King of Pop's biggest hits.

The Proms in the Park series returns tomorrow in Bents Park from 3.30pm to 5.30pm, as the South Tyneside Orchestra entertains the audience with classical performances, showstoppers and patriotic favourites.

Several dance groups took up the invitation to join in the parade.

Several dance groups took up the invitation to join in the parade.

South Shields FC's players and staff cheered from the top of their open topped bus which then joined in the end of the parade.

South Shields FC's players and staff cheered from the top of their open topped bus which then joined in the end of the parade.

A packed seafront welcomed the marchers to Bents Park, where an afternoon of entertainment was laid on.

A packed seafront welcomed the marchers to Bents Park, where an afternoon of entertainment was laid on.

The banner created in tribute to the late Dr Anne Seymour.

The banner created in tribute to the late Dr Anne Seymour.

South Shields Judo Club was among the sports groups to join in the parade.

South Shields Judo Club was among the sports groups to join in the parade.