Families across South Tyneside are set to enjoy an action-packed programme of activities and entertainment with the return of the Jarrow Festival later this month.
The Deputy Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Ken Stephenson, and Deputy Mayoress Cathy Stephenson joined organisers at St Paul's Church in Jarrow to launch the festival, which this year is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
The festival kicks off on Friday 25 May with a variety of events taking place across Jarrow over the May Bank Holiday weekend and beyond to Sunday 3 June.
Attractions include art and history exhibitions, craft sessions, music, children's activities, guided tours of St Paul's Church, afternoon teas, sports activities including the Aaron Todd Memorial Weekend football tournament and much more. Activities will take place at venues across the town, including Jarrow Hall, Jarrow Hub, Jarrow library, community associations, the Viking Centre and local churches.
The Deputy Mayor said: "The Jarrow Festival is always a fantastic, vibrant family event with something for all ages to enjoy. It is also a wonderful way of bringing local people and communities together.
"The festival is a true celebration of art, culture, education and sport, and has gone from strength to strength over the years.
"This year the festival marks its 30th anniversary so it would be wonderful to see as many people as possible coming along and enjoying the events and activities on offer to make it a real celebration."
The highlight of the week is the new Jarrow Festival Dragon Parade taking place on Sunday 27 May. The parade will leave Jarrow Town Hall at 10:30am, heading towards Drewetts Park in Church Bank for the Jarrow Festival Community and Charity Fayre running until 4pm.
Visitors will be able to enjoy live music and entertainment while browsing and buying from the range of arts, crafts and artisan food stalls, as well as give local good causes a boost at their charity fundraising stalls. Youngsters will be entertained with fairground rides, bouncy castle and face painting.
St Paul's Church will also be hosting guided tours between 12noon and 4pm on Sunday 27 May.
Visitors can also make their day go further with a visitor toJarrow Hall, Anglo-saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum, which is open as part of the celebrations from 10am to 4pm,on Sunday 28 May, with entry by way of a donation.
Other attractions include free World War One themed arts and crafts sessions on Tuesday 29 May and Wednesday 30 May, from 11am to 1pm, in Jarrow Hub.The art work will be used in a future community art project.
On Tuesday 29 May, free Little and Loud music tasters for toddlers (9.45am) and babies (10.45am) will also take place at the Big Local Base. (Booking is required via firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tickets are also available for the Jarrow Festival Dance with The Little Big Band taking place on Bank Holiday Monday, at 7pm, at Jarrow Civic Hall. Call (0191) 406 9711 for further details.
The festival will end on Sunday 3 June with the free Jarrow Festival Finale Fun Day at Hedworthfield Community Association. Displays in dance and gymnastics, face painting and balloon modelling and fun games and activities are just some of the attractions on offer between 11am and 3pm.
This year's Jarrow Festival has been supported by National Lottery, Big Local, Barbour Foundation, Cultural Spring and a contribution from the Jarrow and Boldon Community Area Forum.