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Summer plans are under way as return of South Tyneside Festival is announced

The parade at a previous South Tyneside Festival.
The parade at a previous South Tyneside Festival.

An award--winning celebration promises to bring music, entertainment and more this summer as it is launched again this year.

The South Tyneside Festival has grown to become one of the biggest free festivals in the country, packed with live music, family friendly entertainment and activities for all ages.

The crowd enjoying a previous performance at the festival.

The crowd enjoying a previous performance at the festival.

One of the main highlights of the festival, the Summer Parade will make a spectacular return on Saturday. July 2.

Once again, the community will come together to line the streets of South Shields and take part in a colourful carnival as it makes its way from the Town Hall along to Bents Park on the seafront.

Last year’s Alice in Wonderland themed parade attracted up to 25,000 spectators and included more than 2,000 participants.

The extremely popular open air music concerts will also return to Bents Park in South Shields for four consecutive Sundays on 10, 17, 24 and 31 July.

This follows on from last year’s successful Sunday Concerts programme, which featured big name performers including Billy Ocean, 5ive and Atomic Kitten, and attracted record-breaking crowds.

The open air Amphitheatre on the seafront at Sandhaven will again showcase up and coming North East talent as well as established artists with its live music series on Thursdays and Saturdays in June.

The Amphitheatre venue will play host to brass bands on Sunday afternoons throughout June, July and August and will welcome scores of families to the Kids Fun Fest featuring a whole host of children’s entertainment on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2 to 25 August.

Classical and contemporary music will be given the big band treatment when Proms in the Park takes over South Marine Park on Sunday, July 3.

Councillor Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “The three-month long South Tyneside Festival is always an extremely popular event in the borough’s calendar.

“Once again we are very excited to see it returning with a great mix of free live music from well-known acts and local performers, children’s entertainment, street performance and much more.

"There will be something for everyone – old and young alike – and it is all free to enjoy.

“We will be bringing back all of the key highlights of the festival including our crowd pleasing Sunday Concerts and Summer Parade which were huge hits in last year’s bumper programme.

“Summer will come round very quickly, therefore we are urging people to save the dates, get them in their diary, and join us for another incredible festival in South Tyneside. It really is the place to be.”

Other events returning to South Tyneside this summer include the Harton Quays Park craft markets on the first Sunday of the month between May and September, the Proper Food and Drink Festival from Saturday, May 28, to Monday, May 30, and the Fake Festival on Saturday, August 27.

In addition to the programme and new for this year, The Customs House is bringing a new comedy festival to the Borough’s events programme.

The event, by Hebburn comedian Jason Cook, will feature top names from the world of comedy between July 29 and August 7.

Further details about South Tyneside Festival events, activities and entertainment will be announced in due course.