Winter festival draws in the crowds

Hundreds of people descended on Whitley Bay for the return of a popular festival.

Whitley Bay played host to the two-day St Nicholas Winter Festival, which also saw the switch on of the Christmas lights in North Tyneside.

Ava Wilson with father Tom, from North Shields, meeting some of the reindeer at St Nicholas Festival.

Ava Wilson with father Tom, from North Shields, meeting some of the reindeer at St Nicholas Festival.

Proceedings got underway last Friday with a lantern procession involving local schoolchildren from Marine Park First School to St Paul’s Church in Park View.

And at 5pm, nine-year-old Hannah Wheatley turned on the borough’s Christmas lights after winning a competition to design the main light.

She was joined by Mayor Norma Redfearn for the official switch on.

Elsewhere, stallholders set up in the town centre selling a range of wares including traditional gifts and produce for visitors. There was also fairground rides, Santa’s grotto, reindeer, entertainment and carol singing.

St Nicholas Festival  in Whitley Bay town centre.
Father Christmas was at the fair.
Picture by Jane Coltman

St Nicholas Festival in Whitley Bay town centre. Father Christmas was at the fair. Picture by Jane Coltman

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “The St Nicholas Winter Festival is always very popular with residents and it is always great to see so many people come out and enjoy the festival across the two days.

“There was such a variety on offer for people of all ages.

“I’d also like to say a big thank-you to all of the stallholders and entertainers who were there on both days and helped to put on an excellent event.”

St Nicholas Festival  in Whitley Bay town centre.
Picture by Jane Coltman

St Nicholas Festival in Whitley Bay town centre. Picture by Jane Coltman