Children will light the way in popular festival

Pupils from Star of the Sea RC Primary School are busy making lanterns.'Picture by Jane Coltman
Pupils from Star of the Sea RC Primary School are busy making lanterns.'Picture by Jane Coltman

Hundreds of schoolchildren are preparing to light the way as they take part in an annual festival.

Around 300 pupils and their families will take part in a lamplit procession through Whitley Bay on Friday, December 4, to mark the start of the two-day St Nicholas Festival.

The festival, now in its 17th year, includes a Christmas market, children’s fairground rides, carol signing, entertainment and storytelling about St Nicholas.

From 4pm on Friday, children from Star of the Sea RC Primary School and Marine Park, Whitley Lodge and Rockcliffe first schools will carry handmade lanterns during a parade along Park View to St Paul’s Church.

James Hannah, headteacher at Star of the Sea, said: “We’re pleased to be taking part in the parade again – it creates such a magical and festive feeling in Whitley Bay.

“Our pupils really enjoy joining in with the other children during the procession and have lots of fun while making their lanterns at school.”

Coun Eddie Darke, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, added: “St Nicholas Festival is always a very popular event , attracting visitors from the region.

“I’d like to thank all the children for helping to mark the start of the festival – the glowing lanterns against the backdrop of a dark evening makes for quite a spectacular scene.”

Also on Friday, the Christmas market will open from lunchtime in the town centre, featuring dozens of stallholders, and returning all day on Saturday.

The Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade, Whitley Bay Rotary Club and St Paul’s Church are all supporting this year’s event.

And as part of this year’s festival, the Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade has also organised a fayre, taking place on Saturday, December 5, at Whitley Bay Metro station, from 11am to 3pm.