South Tyneside was transformed into shimmering display of the wonders of the deep when the maritime inspired Summer Festival Parade took place on Saturday (2 July).
A giant Poseidon, lighthouse and Yellow Submarine were joined by more than 2,000 participants for the Maritime Mayhem themed Summer Parade through South Shields on Saturday (2 July).
The event, organised by South Tyneside Council, featured five spectacular themed sections including a special tribute to the Borough’s rich maritime history of shipbuilding and seafaring.
The parade also marked the 150 years of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade with a float dedicated to the brigade and participants dressed in the colours of the organisation.
Schools and youth and community groups from across South Tyneside joined the parade, created by artistic director Garner Harris from The Creative Seed, as it set sail from South Shields Town Hall along to the seafront, in glittering nautical costumes, dancing or showcasing their circus skills developed in special workshops during the few past months.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Alan Smith, said: “The South Tyneside Summer Parade was a really colourful spectacle. Despite the adverse weather conditions the spirit of the people shone through and great fun was had by all.
“It was brilliant to see the community come together from across the Borough and take part in the Parade to help celebrate our rich maritime heritage, our coastal communities and the 150 years of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade.
“I would like to thank everyone who took part in the parade, the spectators who came along to line the route to show their support and the sponsors as well as The Creative Seed who have helped to make this one of the biggest and brightest parades yet.”
On arrival in Bents Park spectators who had lined the route were treated to an afternoon of entertainment, with live music from bands including Beatles tribute group The Cheatles as well as vintage jazz dance from The Vedattes.
Crowds were also entertained by high-energy dance routines and a vibrant finale with musical performances, stilt walkers and an aerialist.
Overall an estimated 18,000 spectators lined the parade route and attended the finale entertainment programme at Bents Park. The Parade was financially supported by Arts Council England, Port of Tyne, Colmans Fish and Chips and South Tyneside College. The parade forms part of a wider programme of events taking place as part of the South Tyneside Festival 2016.
Other highlights still to come in the festival, which runs annually from June until the end of August, include a series of open air concerts in Bents Park featuring X-Factor stars Alexandra Burke, Ben Haenow and Reggie ‘N’ Bollie (July 10), The Proclaimers plus Lindisfarne (July 17), Tony Hadley (July 24) and UB40 (July 31).
There will also be brass band performances every Sunday afternoon throughout July and August as well as live music from bands in South Marine Park.
In addition, twice weekly Kids Fun-Fest afternoons of fun, games and activities run from 2 until 25 August and Harton Quays Park Craft Markets are held on the firstSunday of the month until September.
For more information about the Summer Parade and full listings for South Tyneside Festival 2016 go to www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk, call the South Tyneside Visitor Information Centre on (0191) 424 7788 and follow South Tyneside Events on Facebook or follow STynesideEvents on Twitter.