Gloomy skies were brightened up when a colourful procession of paraders marched through the streets of South Tyneside.
Hundreds of participants from schools, charities, and organisations from across the borough took part in today’s annual South Tyneside Festival Summer Parade, which was watched by scores of spectators – despite the miserable weather.
This year’s event celebrated the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland which was written by Lewis Carroll.
All sorts of vivid characters, including the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and of course Alice, danced their way from South Shields Town Hall to Bents Park in Sea Road, where the party continued.
Many of the familiar faces were brought to life by performers starring in this year’s Alice-themed pantomime at the Customs House in Mill Dam, South Shields.
Live music was heard throughout the event, thanks to the The Military Marching Band and electric string trio, Silken Strings, who were each riding on one of the parade’s six, floats.
Little Ayvah Taylor-Bowes was bursting to catch a glimpse of Alice.
The five–year–old came along to watch the parade with her youngster sister Lily Taylor, four and gran Pearl Taylor, 52, from Westoe, South Shields.
She said: “I love Alice and I really want to see her going past, I’m very excited.”
Gemma Oley, from South Shields, came along to watch the spectacle with her daughter Courntey, eight, and other members of her family.
However, her son Jude Iwuji, aged nine months, had fallen asleep in his pram and missed it.
The 51–year–old said: “We heard this year that there was going to be again, like they used to have years ago so we’re quite looking forward to that.
“It’s a shame Jude is asleep though, he’s going to miss his first parade.”
Dale Gordon, 30, younger brother, Marcus, 25, and dad Marc, 45, plus his children Macy, seven, and Elsa-Mae, one had travelled from Birtley to watch the parade.
Dale said: “It’s the first time we’ve ever came along to the parade. I spotted it advertised on Facebook and thought it looked quite good.”
As the parade drew to a close, the sun finally came out and celebrations continued in Bents Park.