Going wild for Whitley Bay Carnival

Rockcliffe First School preparing for Whitley Bay Carnival .
Picture by Jane Coltman
Rockcliffe First School preparing for Whitley Bay Carnival . Picture by Jane Coltman

Whitley Bay is set to go wild this weekend as the popular carnival returns.

After months of preparation, the finishing touches are being made to the Whitley Bay Carnival.

Teacher Lindsay Ford with pupils Noah, Reuben and Sonny  from Rockcliffe First School preparing for Whitley Bay Carnival .
Picture by Jane Coltman

Teacher Lindsay Ford with pupils Noah, Reuben and Sonny from Rockcliffe First School preparing for Whitley Bay Carnival . Picture by Jane Coltman

It will take place tomorrow and Saturday, with an array of wild-inspired costumes taking the lead in Saturday’s carnival parade.

As well as putting the finishes touches to costumes and learning their dance routines, pupils from Marine Park First School have been busy baking cakes to sell in aid of the carnival fund-raising appeal to provide water to the participants.

And Rockcliffe First School, which has been busy making hundreds of flowers and cygnet costumes, has donated its school hall for some last-minute rehearsal space.

Local businesses are continuing their ongoing support with local fish and chip shop Pantrini’s coming in as last-minute programme sponsors.

Maracatu drummers who will lead this years carnival parade.

Maracatu drummers who will lead this years carnival parade.

Lindsay Ford, a teacher at Rockcliffe First School who has been involved in every carnival for the past four years, said: “We just love carnival time; the preparation is just as exciting as the parade and the event itself.

“The children love to be involved and this year we have 70 children together with their parents taking part.

“It is a real community event spanning the generations and helps to instil in our children a real sense of pride for their home town which is such an important part of being a good citizen.”

The carnival parade will set off from Whitley Bay Metro at 11am, but for the first time will this year snake through the town centre down Park View before culminating at the Spanish City Plaza at noon.

The parade will be greeted by The Big Sing, which, led by acclaimed choir leader Gilly Love MBE, will bring choirs from across the region together to perform.

From 10am to 6pm, there will be a packed programme of live music and street theatre at the Spanish City Plaza from the likes of The Baghdaddies and the Backyard Rhythm Orchestra, together with circus workshops.

Street food and drinks stalls together with an arts market selling locally-produced craft goods will also be on offer at the Spanish City Plaza. A family-friendly carnival ball will kick-start the carnival celebrations at 6pm on Friday and will transport party-goers 50 years back in time to the Summer of Love of 1967.

Tickets are priced at £10 and while they can be purchased on the door, organisers recommend buying them in advance.

A full programme schedule will be available from the carnival information stand on the day or is available on the carnival Facebook page and www.whitleybaycarnival.
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