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Cookson Festival Parade Ready To Roll

Although the new-look South Tyneside's Cookson Festival has been underway for the past month the Festival Parade always marks the start of the busiest programme of summer events.

The Parade of colourful floats, marching bands, uniformed organisations, vintage transport, individual costumed characters and fancy dress items sets off tomorrow (Saturday July 6th).

The procession, representing a cross-section of youth and community organisations, special interest groups, commercial entries, historical vehicles and local firms, will start from the Town Hall at 1.30pm.

The Parade will go down Fowler Street, along Ocean Road and on to the Bents Park where the annual Cookson Festival summer fayre takes place.

To celebrate the Queen's Jubilee, the theme for this year's Festival Parade is '50 Glorious Years'.

There are trophies and prizes to be won to the best entries in various categories in the parade. The best overall entries that best represent the theme will be awarded £250, £150 and £50 respectively.

There is a special prize of £100 for the best school entry and trophies are also awarded the best individual, youth and community, volunteer groups, bands, commercial and historical transport entries.

Thousands of spectators are expected to line the route. The parade will get an official civic send-off from outside the Town Hall by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Joan Jackson and other civic leaders.

Dozens of charitable organisations and local groups will be providing all kinds of fun and games at their fund-raising stalls at the summer fayre in Bents Park.

The Cookson Festival runs until the end of August. There is a packed programme of free entertainment of all kinds. Programmes listing dozens of events from music to children's parties, big Sunday concerts and street entertainment are available from libraries, council offices and Tourist Information Centres.

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