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ByDave Stopher

Jun 2, 2023

SOUTH Tyneside’s award-winning location is being celebrated at one of the community’s best-loved events.

The This Is South Tyneside Festival is set to return, kicking off with the annual Summer Parade.

And this time round the Summer Parade – on Saturday 1 July – will not only feature all things sand and sea, but will also involve a whole host of new individuals and community groups.

Delivered by The Cultural Spring, a number of organisations have already been involved in a number of dance taster sessions to help whip up the excitement around the parade.

Other groups are involved in making flags and banners, as well as a number of puppets which will also take pride of place.

Emma Horsman, project director at The Cultural Spring, said the hope was “to widen out the participation to get people involved who may not have been involved in the arts before.”

“We’ve been talking to a whole range of organisations from war veterans to the local Bangladeshi communities to get them to take part,” said Emma.

“We are also looking at ways that people who are housebound, so might not be able to make it to the parade itself, can also feel that they can get involved.”

That includes the creation of kits which allow those at home to make items that can be included in the parade.

A dance routine is being filmed so that people can practice at home ahead of being involved, all leading to making the parade the most inclusive to date.

“We have had a great response so far and are very excited about bringing all of the elements together,” said Emma.

“It really is all about the community coming together in the most amazing way.”

The coastal theme fits in with 2023 being designated Year of the Coast, with the parade leaving South Shields Town Hall before making its way down to Bents Park on the seafront, where the entertainment continues with a family fun day.

Anyone wanting to get involved or find out more can contact info@theculturalspring.org.uk or phone 07469 030 256.

Cllr Pat Hay, Mayor of South Tyneside believes the parade will be one of the best so far.

“Celebrating the coast is a brilliant theme, particularly in a year when it is being marked nationwide,” she said.

“It will be the starting point for what promises to be an amazing This Is South Tyneside Festival.”

The Summer Parade is being organised by South Tyneside Council in partnership with The Cultural Spring and supported by Arts Council England.

The Parade and family fun day kick starts a packed weekend of entertainment, which also includes street performances at Sandhaven Amphitheatre and along the Promenade on Sunday 2 July, followed by the traditional Proms in the Park afternoon.

A whole programme of entertainment throughout the summer months has recently been unveiled, including the popular Sunday concerts in Bents Park which this year will feature The Vamps, Jason Donovan, Bjorn Again and Boyzlife on four consecutive Sundays.

The This Is South Tyneside Festival is supported by a wide range of sponsors, including Port of Tyne, Minchella & Co, Colmans, Ramside Event Catering, Ocean Beach Pleasure Beach and Metro Radio and Greatest Hits.

The Sunday concerts are free, although priority tickets are available at £6 each which give early access and can be bought at Ticketmaster or Shop @ The Word.

Further details are available at www.southtynesidefestival.co.uk or follow South Tyneside Events on social media: Facebook (South Tyneside Events) and on Twitter @STynesideEvents.