Carnival in appeal for costume makers

Some of the costumes on display at the Whitley Bay Carnival last year. Picture by Iain Brown.
Some of the costumes on display at the Whitley Bay Carnival last year. Picture by Iain Brown.
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Budding artists, seamstress and designers are being sought to help make costumes and props for the Whitley Bay Carnival.

Organisers are looking for those willing to help with a needle or paintbrush to bring the circus theme to life.

Sheila Wilson with her decorated wheelchair at last year's Whitley Bay Carnival.

Sheila Wilson with her decorated wheelchair at last year's Whitley Bay Carnival.

The team will be on hand every Saturday, from 10am, throughout May at the Whitley Bay Big Local shop, at 82 Park View, to help people turn feathers and fabrics in to flamboyant circus inspired carnival costumes.

More than 800 people are expected to take part in the parade on Saturday, May 28, starting at Whitley Bay station.

Last year, local Whitley Bay resident Sheila Wilson took part in the costume making workshops and decorated her motorised wheelchair which she then used in the parade.

Getting involved in the carnival preparations also introduced Sheila to Whitley Bay Big Local and its Small Sparks Fund which helped her to set up The Whitley Warblers – a popular community choir, which meets every Tuesday afternoon at the Windsor Hotel.

Whitley Bay Carnival logo

Whitley Bay Carnival logo

Sheila said: “The workshops were a really good opportunity to get involved in the carnival and feel like I was playing a part in this wonderful community event.

“Whilst I can use a sewing machine, I wouldn’t have the first idea about making carnival costumes, but luckily there was a lovely, professional team on hand to give me direction.”

Parade director artist Richard Broderick added: “The carnival is about so much more than the day itself.

“As well as ten local schools and community groups we have taking part, we are looking for individuals to get involved either in the parade or helping with the preparations.

“Sheila is a fantastic example.

“Since volunteering last year, she has received support from Whitley Bay Big Local to set up a community choir who meet every Tuesday afternoon and will be taking part in this year’s carnival parade.”

The Whitley Bay Carnival, once a focal point of the town’s calendar, was brought back to life in 2014 by Whitley Bay Big Local.

And after two hugely successful parades, it is very much hoped that the event is now a firm fixture in the annual calendar.

This year’s event, which is once again being organised by local Whitely Bay resident and professional event producer Carol Alevroyianni, has strong financial support from local businesses, as well as sponsorship from Whitley Bay Big Local and support from The National Lottery through Arts Council England.

To find out more about getting involved, please contact Carol Alevroyianni at calevroyianni@aol.com or call 07791 169747. Alternatively, call in at the shop and leave your details.