Thousands expected to turn out for festive event

A popular festive event is aiming to once again attract the crowds when it kicks off on Friday with an array of dazzling lights and street entertainment.
The camels last year proved a hit with visitorsThe camels last year proved a hit with visitors
The camels last year proved a hit with visitors

Thousands of people are expected to head to Ocean Road, South Shields, for the annual camel parade and winter wonderland attractions.

The event will start at 5pm with the animals, accompanied by three wise men, making their way past spectators to a compound within Harbour Drive (South) car park where they will be on a display for a short time.

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They will be joined on their journey with festive stilt walkers and illuminated characters.

Spark! Drummers will also be making a comeback, showcasing their energetic choreographed performances set to different lighting effects.

Down at the seafront, more entertainment and music will help visitors to get into the Christmas party spirit.

The event, sponsored by Colman’s Seafood Temple, will feature a range of winter-inspired characters created by the Creative Seed CIC run by husband and wife team Garner and Sandy Harris.

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The couple were responsible for the variety of colourful costumes seen during this year’s summer parade in July.

The evening of entertainment will close with a fireworks display once the camels have left the area.

The Camel Parade is one of the highlights of the programme of events put on by South Tyneside Council.

Last year, thousands of people of all ages lined Ocean Road and packed out the area near to Haven Point to watch the parade and take part in the festive celebrations.

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Speaking at the end of the 2016 event, Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture, said: “It was wonderful to see so many families and visitors line the parade route and enjoy the festive entertainment and live music.”

However, the use of the animals is not popular with all.

A number of activists staged a protest during the parade over their use.

Earlier this year, a number of petitions were raised in a bid to stop the camel parade from taking place.

For details on the camel parade and other events taking place across South Tyneside as part of the winter wonderland celebrations visit