Families are in for an out-of-this-world experience at this year's South Tyneside Festival, organisers have revealed.
It may only be February half term, but the countdown has already begun for the 2019 summer events, which pull in thousands of visitors to South Shields.
Three months of live music, family activities and entertainment will begin in June, with the annual Summer Parade this year drawing inspiration from the cosmos with a "Space Fantasy" theme, celebrating everything from Star Wars to the moon landing.
The parade will take place on Saturday July 6, where hundreds of youth groups, schools and community organisations will be embracing the theme under the artistic direction of South Shields-based carnival company Creative Seed.
Impressive floats and colourful costumes will head through the town, ending at Bents Park where there will be an afternoon of free entertainment, including a grand finale performance.
The Amphitheatre will be hosting musicians throughout summer, with live music every Thursday and Saturday evening in June, except June 8, and brass band concerts every Sunday afternoon in June, July and August, except July 7 – when Proms in the Park will take place at Bents Park.
And the popular Sunday concerts will return to Bents Park on 14, 21, 28 July and 4 August, though we'll have to wait a little longer until the acts are announced.
South Marine Park will again host a series of bandstand concerts, organised by The Friends of North and South Marine Parks, which will showcase local bands on July 27, August 3, 10, 17, 31, and September 7.
Parents looking for ways to entertain children during the summer will be able to make the most of the Kids Fun-Fest, which takes place every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from August 1 to 22.
Councillor Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “The South Tyneside Festival is a fantastic event for South Shields and attracts visitors from all over the region and beyond.
“There are some brilliant events lined up for all ages and interests and it will be wonderful to see the Summer Parade bring the Space Fantasy theme to life.
“It is set to be an amazing summer of music, which will get even better when the Sunday concerts line-up is announced, and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to enjoy South Shields over the three-month event.”
For more information, visit www.southtynesidefestival.co.uk, search South Tyneside Events on Facebook or follow @STynesideEvents on Twitter.