Pupils’ bright designs for festival parade

Children will be lighting up the streets as part of an annual Christmas tradition.

Around 300 youngsters and their families will be taking part in a lantern procession through Whitley Bay as part of the St Nicholas Festival, which runs from December 5 to 7.

Lantern making at Star of the Sea Primary School at Whitley Bay.'REF 0112144096

Lantern making at Star of the Sea Primary School at Whitley Bay.'REF 0112144096

In preparation, pupils from Star of the Sea RC Primary School and Whitley Lodge, Marine Park and Rockcliffe first schools have been creating their own lanterns to carry.

Jim Hannah, headteacher at Star of the Sea, said: “We’ve been involved in the parade for a few years now – it’s such a special event and the children absolutely love it.

“The hundreds of lanterns make for quite a spectacular scene.”

As well as the parade, the festival includes a Christmas market in the town centre and fairs in a local church and the Metro station.

Coun Eddie Darke, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, added: “St Nicholas Festival has taken place in Whitley Bay for the last 16 years, and is always a firm favourite with residents and visitors to the town.

“As well as the special lantern parade, there will also be some great gift and produce stalls, fairground rides and entertainment on over the weekend.”

The parade takes place on Friday, December 5, beginning at 4.15pm from Marine Park First School. It will take a new route along Park View to St Paul’s Church. Carol singing and story-telling about St Nicholas will then take place inside the church.

On the same day, the Christmas market opens at lunchtime and continues all day Saturday.