• Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

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Colourful Characters take to the Streets

parade 2015  10 -  emailA giant caterpillar, Cheshire Cat and disco diva Queen of Hearts were guests of honour at Alice in Wonderland’s 150th birthday celebrations this weekend.

The colourful characters joined Alice, the Mad Hatter and more than 2000 other participants for the South Tyneside Festival Summer Parade through South Shields on Saturday (July 4).

The event, organised by South Tyneside Council, featured five spectacular floats, each paying tribute to Lewis Carroll’s classic tale with designs carefully crafted by the parade’s artistic director, Paul Shriek.

Representatives from the council, event sponsors Careline Lifestyles and countless youth and community groups from across South Tyneside joined the hour long parade from South Shields Town Hall to the seafront, with many donning themed costumes that had been created in special workshops during the past few months.

On arrival in Bents Park spectators who had lined the route were treated to an afternoon of entertainment, including performances by The Military Marching Band, Silken Strings and the fabulous ‘disco diva’ Queen of Hearts, Jayne McKenzie, who paid tribute to iconic songstress, Kylie Minogue, by performing a number of her hit tracks alongside 14 young dancers.

Rahul Sharma, Chief Executive of Careline Lifestyles, which sponsored the Summer Parade, said: “The atmosphere throughout the parade was absolutely electric and we were thrilled to have played such a key part in making this traditional event the biggest and best to date.

“Paul and his team have done a fantastic job bringing Lewis Carroll’s weird and wonderful characters to life and it was great to be able to involve some of our residents in getting the floats and costumes ready for their big unveiling on parade day. They thoroughly enjoyed getting creative in making some of the topiary, bunting and other important details, that have really helped to make the parade look so spectacular.

“It was amazing to see these much loved characters taking over the streets of South Shields and we were delighted to see the crowds turn out to this hugely popular summer event.”

The Summer Parade, which recognises Lewis Carroll’s connections to South Tyneside, forms part of a wider programme of events taking place as part of the South Tyneside Festival 2015.

Other highlights still to come in the event, which runs annually from June until the end of August, include a series of open air concerts in Bents Park featuring 5ive and Atomic Kitten (July 12), Billy Ocean (July 19), Sophie Ellis Bextor and The Feeling (July 26), and North East stars Joe McElderry, Collabro and Lola Saunders (August 2).

There will also be twice weekly Kids Fun Fest parties from July 28 to August 20, brass band performances every Sunday afternoon throughout July and August and Harton Quays Park Craft Markets on the first Sunday of the month until September.  All of these events are free to attend.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Richard Porthouse said: “This was the biggest and best Summer Parade we’ve ever had as part of the South Tyneside Festival and it’s only fitting that it paid tribute to one of the best-loved and most enduring children’s stories in the world.

“I know that Alice and her friends had an amazing time riding the floats and I hope that all of our participants and spectators enjoyed the day.”

For more information and full listings for the South Tyneside Festival 2015 go to www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk search for South Tyneside Events on Facebook, follow STynesideEvents on Twitter or call the South Tyneside Visitor Information Centre on 0191 424 7788.

By admin