Councillor Alan Kerr pictured with Wilko store manager WendyBusinesses in South Tyneside are being invited to show their colours in support of one of the Borough’s biggest events this summer.

Town centre businesses in South Shields have the opportunity to take part in this year’s Maritime Mayhem-themed Summer Parade on Saturday 2 July.

Bunting will line the route of the parade which will leave South Shields Town Hall at 1pm, and sail along Fowler Street and Ocean Road to the seafront, where the entertainment will continue until 4pm, with live music and family friendly activities in Bents Park.

South Tyneside Council is offering businesses free packs including maritime bunting, hand waving flags and promotional posters to dress their shop windows.

Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for businesses in the town centre to be a part of our spectacular Summer Parade.

“It is not too late for businesses to get involved and we would encourage them to claim their Summer Parade pack to festoon their shop fronts.”

More than 20 stores will be dressing their windows, including Wilko whose staff will also be getting into the parade spirit with colourful outfits and a fun day in store.

Wendy Scott, Manager of the South Shields branch of Wilko, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Summer Parade by dressing our windows.

“The parade is loved by residents and visitors alike and we are excited to be playing a part in this year’s event which promises to be a vibrant and colourful celebration for everyone to enjoy in the town centre.”

The South Tyneside Summer Parade will celebrate the Borough’s rich maritime history of seafaring and shipbuilding as well as the sights of the sea, with pirates, Poseidon, giant octopuses and sea serpents just some of the colourful characters taking to the streets of South Shields on the day.

The event also marks 150 years of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade.

The Summer Parade is organised by South Tyneside Council and is supported by Arts Council England, 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 exciting 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.

Any South Shields town centre businesses who would like to be part of the Parade can contact Julie Shearer on 0191 455 4031 or julie.shearer@southtyneside.gov.uk for more information and to request a shop window dressing pack.

Businesses who have claimed their free packs so far include Huffkins, Andrew Craig Ltd, Apollo Bathrooms, Beautiful Homes North East Ltd, Carpet-Hall, David Gray Solicitors, Ewephoria, Home Flair Blinds, Elli-Deli, Mega PCs, North East Bedding and  Mattress Centre, Saks Hairdressing, South Shields Florist Ltd, Supertech, Amazon Hair, Carphone Warehouse, Frankies Diner, Lloyds TSB Bank, Marie Curie, Specsavers Opticians, Knit n Purl, Market View Restaurant, Wilko, The Opal Lounge and Feline Friends.