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South Tyneside to Shine Bright this Christmas

South Tyneside is set to shine even brighter this festive season as the Borough gears up for the return of its traditional Christmas Wonderland programme of events.

The Council is pulling out all the stops to make the 2021 Christmas period a 'good one' to help raise spirits and bring joy to families after a difficult and challenging period which saw last year's festivities move online wherever possible.

This year will see the return of the Borough's traditional events as well as a more comprehensive and dazzling display of lights across towns and villages in South Tyneside.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: "Christmas is a magical time of year when families and friends celebrate and have fun. We're delighted to bring back events in their traditional format for people to enjoy once again this year.

"We have also listened to residents and as a result more areas of the Borough will sparkle with new festive lighting displays this Christmas. We hope the investment in our light installations across towns and villages, in addition to our fabulous festive events and activities, will not only help to support our amazing businesses after a really tough time, but spread much-needed cheer throughout our communities this year.

"It will be a real celebration of optimism and hope. We would urge people to join us for the festivities and get those dates saved in their diaries."

The official countdown to Christmas begins with the Borough's spectacular lights switch on events, which this year will be led by community heroes in recognition of their outstanding support during the Covid pandemic as well as feature talented performers from South Tyneside.  

The switch on events are taking place in South Shields (Wednesday 24 November); Jarrow (Friday 26 November) and Hebburn (Monday 29 November).

The Christmas Wonderland Fair will take place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November, from 10am to 4pm, at Jarrow Hall - a new venue for this year - thanks to support from Groundwork South and North Tyneside.

The spectacular Christmas Wonderland Parade will also return to Ocean Road, South Shields, with a vibrant new look reflecting optimism and happiness in a post-covid world. The event, on Friday 10 December, will include an assortment of family-friendly entertainment and culminate in a sensational firework display.

Like last year, talented children from local schools will unite virtually for an online Christmas Carol Concert, which will be available to view on the Council's YouTube channel from 10 December.

The Market Square will host special Christmas Markets on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 December, where shoppers can browse a variety of market stalls and enjoy street food, live music and entertainment.

Santa will be taking special visits from children at his Grotto in Haven Point throughout December. Libraries, including Hebburn Central and Jarrow Focus, will also stage a series of festive activities and entertainment, from crafts and face painting to children's performer and local choirs.

To make sure the Borough is ready for the lights switch on events later this month, the Council and its street lighting partner Balfour Beatty have already started the programme of testing, repairing and installing existing lights as well as putting up the new displays across the Borough.

New features include multi-coloured motifs along Fowler Street, leading along Keppel Street and up to Market Square. Additional lighting will also be installed along King Street with an overhead canopy as well as lit trees at the northern end of the high street.

New displays are also being installed in Hebburn at the Victoria Road East/Campbell Park Road roundabout and in Jarrow on the A185 roundabout, along Church Bank and on trees in Linear Park.

Trees at Harton Village and the roundabout at Cauldwell Avenue/Sunderland Road will sparkle with new lights and East Boldon will be lit up with new motifs along Front Street. A new Christmas tree will be installed at Marsden Grotto car park.

The investment in festive lights and the return of Christmas events aligns with the Council's key priority to support town centres, villages, high streets and hospitality.

Councillor Atkinson added: "There is so much happening across South Tyneside, not just council events, but with our partners at The Customs House, Ocean Beach Pleasure Park and many more.

"Our local businesses and organisations need our help more than ever. We hope that people will continue to show their support this Christmas by enjoying the range of activities on offer and eating and shopping local as much as they can."

For the full programme of South Tyneside's Christmas Wonderland programme of events visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/christmas, follow on social media at www.facebook.com/southtynesideevents and Twitter @stynesideevents or look out for the Christmas 'What's On' guide being distributed across the Borough, including council buildings and local libraries.

Events will be subject to any Covid-related public health advice in place at the time to help reduce the spread of the virus. Visitors are encouraged to respect others and their space, consider wearing face masks in enclosed spaces or if distancing is difficult (unless exempt) and take a lateral flow test before attending events. Those who feel unwell or symptomatic should not attend and book a PCR test.

 

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