Christmas is coming and the festive season in South Tyneside will get off to a spectacular start next week with a series of light switch on events.
Hundreds of families are expected to gather for the official Christmas lights switch on events in South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn.
The festivities start on Thursday November 22, X Factor stars Jedward will to turn on the town’s Christmas displays as part of a programme of entertainment in South Shields Market Square, from 6pm.
Joining the Irish double act – John and Edward Grimes – on stage will be singer Abi Garrido and there will be a special appearance from characters from this year’s Customs House panto, Beauty and the Beast.
On Friday November 23, the official switch on of Jarrow’s festive light displays will take place at Jarrow Town Hall in Grange Road, from 4pm to 5pm. The event will include carols from St Bede’s RC Primary School choir and a brass quartet performing seasonal favourites.
The Hebburn lights switch on will take place on Monday November 26, from 4pm to 5pm, in Fountains Park, Station Road, with songs from St Aloysius RC Primary School choir and a brass quartet.
Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Councillor Ken Stephenson and Cathy Stephenson will be attending the events where there will be a range of festive music and entertainment.
Coun Stephenson said: “It is always exciting to see the Christmas lights switched on in our town centres. Our colourful Christmas displays are spectacular, creating a wonderfully festive atmosphere across South Tyneside. They really help to get the festive season in full swing and are extremely popular with people of all ages.
“We look forward to seeing everyone there but would encourage people to wrap up warm as they enjoy all the festive family fun on offer across the Borough.”
Colourful characters and performers, including Santa and his elf, Christmas Crackers, and Mr Merlin, will be mingling with the crowds at each of the events.
Councillor Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure at South Tyneside Council, said: “Our light switch-on events in South Shields, Hebburn and Jarrow town centres attract thousands of people of all ages and create a magical Christmas Wonderland atmosphere."
Other key highlights of this year’s Christmas Wonderland programme include the Camel Parade on Friday December 7, at 5pm, Ocean Road, South Shields.
Families can also enjoy the traditional Civic Carol Concert (Monday 3 December) and Christmas Fair weekend at Haven Point next weekend.
South Tyneside’s Christmas Wonderland programme is being delivered by South Tyneside Council in partnership with BBC Newcastle and with support from Colmans Seafood Temple.