East 17 Spread Festive Cheer at South Shields Light Switch-on
The countdown to the festive season got off to a sparkling start with the official switch-on of the Christmas lights in South Shields.
90s pop group, East 17, renowned for their chart-topping Christmas hit, Stay Another Day, joined the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick and Mayoress, Mrs Jean Williamson, to turn on the town's festive displays in South Shields Market Square. Thousands gathered in South Tyneside to hear the band, fronted by Robbie Craig of Artful Dodger fame, perform many of their greatest hits.
The evening, which was hosted by BBC Newcastle's Gilly Hope, included a whole host of festive entertainment including talented, local performers the Choirmaster group. Visitors were also treated to a special appearance from characters of this year's The Customs House panto, Snow Whiteand illuminated characters provided by Creative Seed.
The Mayor said: "I was delighted to see so many people attend the South Shields light switch-on event and join in with the festivities. It was great to have East 17 join the Mayoress and I on stage to switch on the town's Christmas lights displays and spread the festive cheer. Our local performers were also a great addition to the night and it was lovely to meet the stars of this year's Customs House pantomime.
"This is an exciting time of year in South Tyneside and we hope that everyone who attended the South Shields light-switch on had a wonderful evening and continue to have a wonderful Christmas and New Year."
The official switch-on of Jarrow's festive light displays are taking place today (Friday 22 November), at Jarrow Town Hall, from 4pm to 5pm, with carols from St Bede's RC Primary School choir and St Oswald's Ozzie Owls Wrap Around Care Group.
The Hebburn lights switch on will take place on Monday 25 November, from 4pm to 5pm, in Fountains Park, Station Road, with songs from St Aloysius RC Primary School choir and a brass quartet.
Colourful characters and performers, including Santa and his Elf, Christmas Crackers, and many more will be mingling with the crowds at each of the events.
South Tyneside's Christmas Wonderland programme is being delivered by South Tyneside Council in partnership with BBC Newcastle and with support from Colmans Seafood Temple and Colmans Fish & Chips.