Popular festival is bigger and better than ever

Annual lantern parade for the St Nicholas Festival at Whitley Bay.'REF 0512145184

Annual lantern parade for the St Nicholas Festival at Whitley Bay.'REF 0512145184

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Thousands of visitors got into the Christmas spirit at an annual festive event.

An estimated 10,000 people visited the St Nicholas Festival last weekend in Whitley Bay, with organisers helping ensure it was bigger and better.

Market traders were in the town centre on Friday and Saturday with entertainment provided in the town centre by the Whitley Bay Big Local partnership.

And local schoolchildren took part in the children’s lantern procession on Friday night, walking from Marine Park First School to St Paul’s Church in Park View.

Sue Miller, chair of the Whitley Bay Big Local, said: “We were delighted to get involved with this hugely popular festival to enhance what is widely recognised as a fantastic weekend in the town’s calendar and see the community come together to enjoy such a wonderful variety of entertainment and festive activities.”

Coun Eddie Darke, cabinet member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said: “St Nicholas Festival has established itself as a family favourite in the festive calendar and this year proved no different.

“With the popular market and its fairground rides, buskers serenading shoppers and fayres within the church and Metro station, the town centre was filled with festive cheer.

“I must also thank the local schools for creating such wonderful lanterns, which created an extra special atmosphere in the town centre.”