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FA Vase Winners to Lead Spectacular Summer Parade

South Shields Football Club is to lead the town's Summer Parade extravaganza this year in celebration of the team's historic season and FA Vase win at Wembley Stadium.

The thousands of people expected to line the route of the parade will see The Mariner's kick start the annual event, leading the way on board an open top bus, from South Shields Town Hall to Bents Park, on Saturday 1 July.

The Mariners triumphed at Wembley last month, comfortably beating Cleethorpes Town 4 - 0 in the FA Vase final. The club completed a historic quadruple this season after winning the Northern League Division One title as well as the Northern League Cup and Durham Challenge Cup.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Olive Punchion said: "We are thrilled for the club and it's only fitting that we should mark their achievements with a victory parade.

"The annual Summer Parade is our largest civic community event, involving more than 2,000 people and supported by many more. It is always a real spectacle and it will be fantastic to see the club heading it up on an open top bus. I'm sure the people of South Tyneside and their loyal fan base will come out in force and join in with the homecoming celebrations, cheering them and the rest of the participants along the way.

"South Shields Football Club has gone from strength to strength. It has been a remarkable season for players, officials and fans alike, and now the whole Borough can come together to mark the Mariners' historic victory and give them the recognition they so rightly deserve."

As well as marking the club's outstanding success, the Once Upon a Time themed parade will celebrate the magic and wonder of stories, bringing to life classic characters from some of the world's best loved children's books. Cinderella and Peter Pan are just some of those to feature alongside vibrant floats, marching bands, stilt walkers, puppets and dance troupes.

It will set off from South Shields Town Hall at 1pm and will make its way along Fowler Street, Ocean Road to the seafront in true carnival style.

The homecoming celebrations with South Shields Football Club will continue in Bents Park where visitors can also enjoy live music and a whole host of storytelling themed family friendly activities.

Geoff Thompson, Chairman of South Shields Football Club, said: "Winning the FA Vase after such a successful season really was a dream come true. I'm so proud of the team and everyone behind the scenes at SSFC whose commitment deserves a home town heroes' welcome.

"The crowd off the pitch has given us the momentum to deliver on the pitch and I can't thank the fans enough for their support all season. The sight of more than 13,000 Shields fans at Wembley was incredible and we can't wait to see them all again at the Summer Parade. 

"I'd like to thank the Council for their continued support. We are extremely proud to be invited to be part of the parade and look forward to seeing as many people as possible to show off our silverware."

Road closures and diversions will be in place with traffic disruption expected, especially around South Shields Town Hall. Visitors are advised to travel to the event by public transport where possible.

The Summer Parade forms part of a wider programme of free live music, entertainment and activities making up the three-month-long South Tyneside Festival 2017. Other festival highlights include live music in the Amphitheatre, open air Sunday concerts and family friendly events, entertainment and activities.

For full details about South Tyneside Festival go to www.southtynesidefestival.co.uk, search for South Tyneside Events on Facebook, follow STynesideEvents on Twitter or call South Tyneside's Visitor Information Centre on (0191) 424 7788.

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