The countdown to Christmas in South Tyneside has begun.
A host of festive events are being unveiled in the run up to the bid day.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Richard Porthouse said: “Christmas is a very special time of year when families and friends celebrate and create fond memories they will treasure.
“We have a spectacular range of events for all ages to enjoy this year. We’ll be encouraging everyone to join in with the festivities taking place right across the borough, and hope everyone has a cracking time. South Tyneside is certainly ‘the’ place to be this Christmas.”
This year’s Christmas Wonderland includes the festive lights switch-on events filled with carols and entertainment in the borough’s three town centres of Jarrow, on November 20, South Shields, on November 21 and Hebburn, on November 23.
The annual Christmas Fair will also return with lots of gift ideas, with everything from food and crafts to jewellery and Christmas decorations for loved ones at Haven Point, from November 28 to 29.
We have a spectacular range of events for all ages to enjoy this year. We’ll be encouraging everyone to join in with the festivities taking place right across the borough, and hope everyone has a cracking time.Coun Richard Porthouse, Mayor of South Tyneside
Other events include the Civic Carol Concert on December 7 at Temple Park Centre as well as festive music from local choirs.
St Hilda’s Church Gardens, in South Shields, will once again be home to our Wonderful Christmas Wonderland lighting display, from December 5 throughout the festive period, with its illuminated reindeer and sleigh, penguins, polar bears and shimmering trees.
The highlight of South Tyneside’s festive programme is the return of the dazzling and very popular Camel Parade.
Due to ongoing regeneration work in the Market Place, the camel parade will have a new route this year. Three Wise Men will lead a procession down the newly transformed Ocean Road along to Haven Point, on December 4, where there will be an assortment of family-friendly entertainment. Visitors to the event, held in partnership with BBC Newcastle, will be wowed with a sensational firework display finale which will end the parade on a high.
Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “With the Christmas season fast approaching we have already started work on making this year’s festive celebrations the best yet.
“Last year we had a tremendous line up of events across South Tyneside. They were a huge success and the feedback we received was extremely positive. We aim to build on this for this year’s celebrations by spreading the magic of Christmas across the borough far and wide.
“Our plans include the new route for the now famous Camel Parade which offers people a wonderful opportunity to see the newly transformed Ocean Road lit up and to experience a thrilling end of the night with a spectacular fireworks display.
“Every year the public play a key role in the celebrations and once again we are looking forward to welcoming both residents and visitors from South Tyneside and beyond to come along and enjoy everything we have to offer.”
To ensure South Tyneside is turned into a Christmas Wonderland in time for the November switch-ons, the council and its street lighting partner Balfour Beatty are starting their preparation work.
The six week installation programme includes testing, repairing and putting up more than 350 motifs, displays and garlands and over 20 Christmas trees across the borough.
This year’s Christmas Wonderland 2015 events programme has been organised by South Tyneside Council with support from Colmans fish and chips and Tyne and Wear Metro. More details of the events will be announced in the coming weeks.