South Shields FC to lead the way on open-top bus at summer parade
South Shields FC are set to lead the way at the town's summer parade next month as the club's remarkable season of success is celebrated.
The Mariners will board an open-top bus from South Shields Town Hall to Bents Park as part of the annual event on Saturday, July 1.
It will give the town a chance to congratulate the club following an incredible season, which saw the Mariners lift four trophies, including the FA Vase at Wembley last month.
Plans for an earlier victory parade for the club were cancelled following the Manchester Arena bombing, which tragically claimed the lives of South Shields pair Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry.
Thousands of people line the streets for the summer parade every year, and the number could be swelled again, with more than 13,000 having travelled to London to watch Shields win the FA Vase.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Olive Punchion, said: “We are thrilled for the club and it’s only fitting that we should mark their achievements with a victory parade.
“The annual Summer Parade is our largest civic community event, involving more than 2,000 people and supported by many more.
“It is always a real spectacle and it will be fantastic to see the club heading it up on an open top bus.
“I’m sure the people of South Tyneside and their loyal fan base will come out in force and join in with the homecoming celebrations, cheering them and the rest of the participants along the way.
“South Shields Football Club has gone from strength to strength.
“It has been a remarkable season for players, officials and fans alike, and now the whole borough can come together to mark the Mariners’ historic victory and give them the recognition they so rightly deserve.”
South Shields FC chairman Geoff Thompson said: “Winning the FA Vase after such a successful season really was a dream come true.
“I’m so proud of the team and everyone behind the scenes at SSFC whose commitment deserves a home town heroes’ welcome.
“The crowd off the pitch has given us the momentum to deliver on the pitch and I can’t thank the fans enough for their support all season.
“The sight of more than 13,000 Shields fans at Wembley was incredible and we can’t wait to see them all again at the Summer Parade.
“I’d like to thank the council for their continued support. We are extremely proud to be invited to be part of the parade and look forward to seeing as many people as possible to show off our silverware.”
Following the Mariners will be a Once Upon a Time-themed parade, celebrating the magic and wonder of stories, and bringing to life some classic characters from well-loved children’s books.
There will be floats, marching bands, stilt walkers, puppets and dance troupes.
The parade will set off from South Shields Town Hall at 1pm and make its way along Fowler Street and Ocean Road to the seafront.
The homecoming celebrations with South Shields FC will continue in Bents Park, where there will be live music and a host of storytelling-themed family friendly activities.
Road closures and diversions will be in place with traffic disruption expected, especially around South Shields Town Hall.