Residents of a South Tyneside care home were given a nautical treat when they had a sneak preview of this year’s summer parade.
The Maritime Mayhem-themed parade, which takes to the streets on Saturday, July 2, will be a vibrant celebration of the borough’s rich history of seafaring and shipbuilding as well as the sights and sounds of our coastal community.
Residents at Cheviot Court care home at Horsley Hill, South Shields, were recently treated to a preview of the dazzling costumes and high energy choreography which will feature in the parade, during a visit from artistic director, Garner Harris, from The Creative Seed.
Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “This year’s Summer Parade looks set to be a spectacular event and the enthusiasm shown by the residents demonstrated how the parade has something for people of all ages to enjoy.
“The parade prides itself as a community event for young and old alike and will unite South Tyneside in celebrating the borough’s maritime past.”
Residents were encouraged to get into the carnival spirt by trying on some of the nautical costumes that will feature in this year’s parade.
Audrey Dennis, 88, a resident at Cheviot Court, said: “It was smashing to see all of the dancing and the girls in their costumes, they all looked so beautiful.”
Residents from the care home will take part in the Summer Parade in their psychedelic mini bus which will follow the parade’s spectacular Yellow Submarine.
Erica Hutchinson, activities co-ordinator at the care home in Horsley Hill Square, said: “Everyone was excited to see a preview of the Summer Parade and they all loved seeing the dancers in their costumes.
“It was a fabulous morning; the dancers went right round the care home meeting all of the residents. We are all now very much looking forward to seeing the parade.”
The Summer Parade, which is expected to feature more than 2,000 representatives from local community groups, will start its journey from South Shields Town Hall at 1pm along Fowler Street and Ocean Road to Bents Park, where the entertainment will continue until 4.30pm, with live music and family activities.
Pirates, Poseidon, giant octopuses and sea serpents are just some of the colourful characters which will be taking to the streets alongside spectacular floats adorned with nautical colours and decorations, marching bands, stilt walkers, puppets, dance troupes and a yellow submarine.
The parade will also mark the 150th anniversary of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade.
South Tyneside Council is working with artistic director Garner to deliver the parade which forms part of a wider programme of free live music, entertainment and activities making up the South Tyneside Festival 2016.
Garner, said: “The Summer Parade has a long standing tradition of being a real community event for South Tyneside and we hope to see as many people as possible lining the streets.
“The parade’s nautical theme is a great concept and we are very excited to share what we have in store to celebrate South Tyneside’s maritime heritage on parade day.
“A lot of different community groups have worked so hard to create an array of props, costumes and floats and will be putting in more work in the run up to the parade. We really want to see people come out and support the work the community has put into make this year’s parade the biggest and best yet.”
The Summer Parade is organised by South Tyneside Council and is supported by Port of Tyne, Colmans Fish and Chips and South Tyneside College. It forms part of the annual South Tyneside Festival, which returns in June with its free three-month line up of live music in the Amphitheatre, open air Sunday concerts and family friendly events, entertainment and activities.
The festival also includes a packed programme of brass band music by the seaside, a classical concert with Proms in the Park, Summer Charity Fayre and children’s entertainment with the return of the Kids Fun-fest.
For more information about the Summer Parade and full listings for South Tyneside Festival 2016 go to www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk, call the South Tyneside Visitor Information Centre on 0191 424 7788 and follow South Tyneside Events on Facebook or follow @STynesideEvents on Twitter.