AN ANNUAL festive event returns this weekend.
The St Nicholas Festival is back in Whitley Bay for its 14th year with schoolchildren and stallholders preparing to take centre stage.
The two days of festivities begins Friday with more than 400 pupils and families taking part in a lantern procession through the town at 4pm.
Children from Star of the Sea RC Primary School, plus Whitley Lodge, Marine Park and Rockcliffe first schools have put the finishing touches to their lanterns for the parade, which will also include a large angel lantern carried by pupils from Churchill Community College.
The procession will be led up Park Avenue to St Paul’s Church by a samba group from Worldbeaters Music.
The festival will open at noon with stallholders, including Northumberland and French farmers, selling a range of food and gifts.
And it will continue from 9.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday.
Among the items on sale will be honey, cheese, cakes, mulled wines, fine French wines, fresh breads, patisseries, meats, plus Christmas gifts and crafts.
There will also be fairground rides, music and dance performances.
St Paul’s Church in Park View will also be opening its doors from 10am to 2pm on Saturday for its St Nicholas Fair.
It will feature refreshments, tea and coffee, cake and preserves stall, tombola, home made crafts stall, jewellery, bric-a-brac, toy and book stall and a raffle.