lasuire largeWith just two weeks to go until the big day, rehearsals are well underway for this year’s Maritime Mayhem-themed Summer Parade.

More than 40 community groups and 12 local schools from across South Tyneside have been taking part in workshops in the build up to the event on Saturday 2 July.

They have been creating an abundance of shimmering costumes, high energy choreography and stunning floats adorned with nautical colours and decorations which will feature in the parade alongside marching bands, stilt walkers, live music and dance troupes.

Pirates, Poseidon, giant octopuses and sea serpents are just some of the colourful characters groups will bring to life to celebrate South Tyneside’s rich history of seafaring and shipbuilding as well as the sights and sounds of the Borough’s coastal community.

The parade, which will feature more than 2000 people, will also mark 150 years of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade.

Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “Rehearsals for the Summer Parade are looking and sounding superb thanks to all of the hard work of community groups and young people across the Borough.

“We cannot wait for everyone to see what promises to be a spectacular event and a real feast for the eyes with colourful costumes, amazing floats, vibrant music and mesmerising dancing.

“To really experience the best of the parade and its atmosphere we would encourage people to line Ocean Road along South Shields’ sea front.”

The annual Summer Parade will leave South Shields Town Hall at 1pm, travelling 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 working with artistic director Garner Harris from The Creative Seed to deliver the parade which forms part of a wider programme of free live music, entertainment and activities making up the South Tyneside Festival 2016.

There are still opportunities for groups and young people to get involved in the Carnival Club sessions run by The Creative Seed on Friday 25 June at Hedworthfield Community Association from 5pm until 7pm and on Monday 27 June at South Tyneside College from 5pm until 7pm with sessions including costume making, street dance and circus skills.

Garner Harris, on behalf of The Creative Seed team, said: “A lot of different community groups have worked so hard to create an array of props, costumes and floats and will be putting in more work in the run up to the parade.

“The parade’s nautical theme is a great concept and we are very excited to share what we have in store to celebrate South Tyneside’s maritime heritage on parade day.

“We really want to see people come out and support the work the community has put into make this year’s parade the biggest and best yet.”

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.

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.