Christmas magic as winter wonderland parade returns to South Shields

Families were given a dose of Christmas magic as one of South Tyneside’s most popular annual events returned.

Friday, 10th December 2021, 9:20 pm

Like many events in 2020, the Christmas Wonderland parade was cancelled due to the covid pandemic.

But it was back with a bang for 2021 as families look forward to a hopefully more normal festive season.

Families wrapped up warm and headed into the town centre on the chilly late afternoon to enjoy the festive spectacular, the sun well down before the start time of 5pm.

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The Creative Seed performance at the South Shields Winter Wonderland Parade.

The parade set off along Ocean Road in the darkness, with people lining the street treated to performances by the impressive Spark! drumming group as well as music, illuminated structures, stilt walkers, dancers, street entertainers and members of South Tyneside’s communities.

South Tyneside Council worked with Creative Seed, the team behind the borough’s popular annual summer parade, to give it ‘a vibrant new look this year with a phoenix rising from the ashes, reflecting optimism and happiness for the future’.

The event culminated with festive entertainment at the seafront, where the fun continued with a fireworks display and a performance by singer Jenn Cherene.

It came amid concerns over the Omicron variant and the announcement of ‘Plan B’ measures to tackle covid earlier in the week.

SPARK Drummers performance at the South Shields Winter Wonderland Parade.

South Tyneside Council had issued advice ahead of the event to anyone planning to attend.

A council spokesperson said prior to the parade: “The event will be subject to any Covid-related public health advice in place at the time to help reduce the spread of the virus.

"Visitors are encouraged to respect others and their space, consider wearing face masks if distancing is difficult (unless exempt) and take a lateral flow test before attending. Those who feel unwell or symptomatic should not attend and book a PCR test.”

The parade forms part of winter celebrations across South Tyneside, which have already included Christmas lights switch-ons featuring local heroes of the covid pandemic.

The Creative Seed performance at the South Shields Winter Wonderland Parade.

Private organisations have also been getting into the spirit, including Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, which is hosting its own Winter Wonderland, complete with an ice rink and mulled wine.

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