Christmas Parade 2022 brings joy to South Shields, despite freezing temperatures and cancelled fireworks

Happy faces and warm hearts beamed through a freezing evening as the annual Christmas parade returned to South Tyneside.

Crowds turned out to watch the dazzling festive procession make its way along Ocean Road to the seafront on Friday, December 9, as part of the borough’s Christmas entertainment.

The parade ended at Haven Point and was supposed to culminate in a fireworks finale, but organisers decided to cancel the display on safety grounds due to the adverse ‘weather and sea conditions’.

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However, the rest of the event went ahead as planned, bringing joy to faces in the crowd.

Santa arrives.

Organised by South Tyneside Council and the Creative Seed Community Interest Company, the parade featured performances by the dazzling Spark! drumming group as well as music, illuminated structures, stilt walkers, street entertainers, dance groups and other members of the local community.

The parade was followed by a performance from singer Jenn Cherene at Harbour Drive.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, praised the event and thanked everyone involved, as well as those taking part.

“The Parade is always such a real highlight of Christmas in South Tyneside offering a spectacular festive experience for the whole family to enjoy,” she said.

Spark! are a returning highlight of the parade.

Among those taking part in the parade were performers from the Saturnalia Tour, an event of mischief, magic and misrule which forms part the region’s Hadrian’s Wall 1900 Festival celebrations, which is visiting South Marine Park on Saturday, December 10, from 4.30pm to 7pm.

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Also taking place on Saturday is The Big River Winter Makers Market 2022 in the Market Square in South Shields.

It includes a day of crafts – including the chance to have a go at wind chime making – and live music from Folk Trio, Jack (Guitar busker) and Salvation Army Band - alongside a selection of market stalls.

The event runs from 10am to 3pm.

Rachel and Sam Hawdon with children Esther, five, and Maggie, eight, prepare to enjoy the Christmas parade in Ocean Road, South Shields.
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Other festive events taking place in South Tyneside include Santa’s Grotto at Haven Point, though there are now only very limited slots available, and the ice skating rink at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park.

There are also various musical performances taking place across the borough, and the pantomime at The Customs House.

The Spark! drummers in action.