Preparations get underway for mythical-themed summer parade for South Tyneside

Community groups and dance schools are being invited to become mythical for this year's annual Summer Festival parade.
The annual Summer Parade in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKSThe annual Summer Parade in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS
The annual Summer Parade in South Shields. Picture: TOM BANKS

Monsters, Myths and Magic has been chosen as the topic in which those taking part will base their costumes.

Last year’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ theme saw over 2,000 people of all ages take part in the parade - which celebrated the magic and wonder of children’s stories.

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The carnival-style event was organised by South Tyneside based community interest company The Creative Seed with an estimated 30,000 people viewing the parade.

And the company run by husband and wife Garner and Sandy Harris are once again on board to take the helm for this year’s event.

Preparation work has already started on the 2018 parade which is hoped will be just as successful as last year’s event.

Speaking at a recent Riverside Community Area Forum, Cultural and Libraries Manager Richard Jago said: “We had over 30 different community groups who took part in the parade which equated to more than 2,000 people.

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“The Creative Seed delivered 181 workshops across the borough with 350 people attending with aged ranging from three to 75-years-old.

“The workshop programmes included dance, circus skills and costume making.”

He added: “The next exhibition at The word which covers that period is Monsters - the Good, the Bad and the Cuddly.

“The parade theme is based on this, Monsters, Myths and Magic.

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“Plans are already in place to stage a meeting for interested groups in March.”

The annual parade traditionally kicks off a summer programme of events for South Tyneside, which include a number of music gigs in the Bents Park, Amphitheatre and South Marine Park as well as children’s entertainment during the week.

The parade starts outside South Shields Town Hall, heading down Fowler Street and Ocean Road and ending in the Bents Park. It is the biggest carnival of its type in the North East.

Chairman of the CAF Coun Michael Clare said: “The council’s events team work with other organisations in the borough to provide these events. It’s no longer a festival with just a few concerts. It has such a vast range of events and has such a positive impact on people’s lives.”

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Councillors heard how a number of people had travelled from across the North East to watch the parade.

Coun Gladys Hobson said: “Richard and his team need to be congratulated on their work and we are hoping to see the same again this year.”