Thousands flock to St Nicholas Festival

Thousands of people descended on Whitley Bay for an annual festive event which saw children and farmers take centre stage.

An estimated 10,000 visitors took in the St Nicholas Festival which was held in the town centre last Friday and Saturday before moving to the seafront on Sunday.

The annual St Nicholas Festival and Farmers Market in Whitley Bay. GM027490

The annual St Nicholas Festival and Farmers Market in Whitley Bay. GM027490

The event kicked off on Friday event with a lantern procession featuring 350 children from Marine Park First, Rockcliffe First, Star of the Sea and Whitley Lodge First schools.

The procession led from Marine Park up to St Paul’s Church for the annual service which featured the retelling of the story of St Nicholas and the traditional distribution of gold coins.

Farmers, including a small contingent from France, were on hand in Whitley Road over the two days for their market which featured a variety of stalls including food and home made craft.

St Paul’s Church held their annual fair on the Saturday before Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade staged their own Christmas Fair in the Spanish City Dome the following day.

Coun Eddie Darke, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “The St Nicholas Festival has really captured the festive spirit in Whitley Bay and it is wonderful to see how popular the event has been with people of all ages.

“We estimate that around 10,000 people visited the festival over the three days, which is great for the town.”

• For more pictures and a video of the festival visit