Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 13.49.05THE countdown to the region’s biggest Community Carnival has begun and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is inviting school, youth and community groups of all ages to take part.

SIRF carnival is a colourful highlight of Stockton International Riverside Festival and this year will be held on Saturday, 6 August.

The theme of this year’s parade is ‘Mythical Lands and Fantastical Creatures’ and is inspired by tales of weird and wonderful places that have enchanted people throughout history.  The theme will provide an opportunity to explore these fascinating myths and let imaginations run wild.

The Council offers participating groups free workshops with an artist to create fantastic costumes or flags for the parade, as well as opportunities to work with musicians and choreographers.  Local performance and sports groups are also encouraged to get involved in the event.

A special welcome evening is taking place on Tuesday 26 April, where groups leaders can meet the artists, find out more about the theme and see some of the fantastic costume designs for the parade.

Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “The carnival is a fun and engaging way for groups to be creative and be part of the Tees Valley’s largest community celebration. There are so many ways to take part and we’re looking for groups with different skills and backgrounds and people of all ages. If you’d like to find out more about how you or your group can get involved then make a date in your diary for the welcome evening on Tuesday 26 April.”

The welcome evening will take place from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at Billingham Community Centre, The Causeway, Billingham, TS23 2DA. If you would like to attend or would like to find out more about taking part in the carnival please email carnival@stockton.gov.uk or contact Lyndsey Stephenson in Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Arts Development team on 01642 527696.

For further information about the Carnival and its theme visit www.sirf.co.uk