Town's carnival hailed another success as it draws in big crowds

Thousands of people took to the streets to help celebrate this year's Whitley Bay Carnival.

Tuesday, 31st May 2016, 11:52 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st May 2016, 1:03 pm
The Carnival Parade weaves its way through the streets of Whitley Bay. Picture by Iain Brown.

People lines the streets in the town centre on Saturday to watch the spectacular circus inspired procession featuring performing acts and local schoolchildren.

And the sun shone on the performers who took to the Spanish City Plaza before a spectacular carnival ball.

Circus Central entertain the crowds. Picture by Alex Alevroyiannis.

Children from 11 schools and community groups took part in the parade, featuring a range of clowns, a host of circus animals and a giant elephant and bear.

The parade set off from the town’s Metro station to a fanfare of the town’s carnival song – ‘Lovely Day in Whitley Bay’ – and snaked through the town centre to the Spanish City Plaza where it was met by a choir.

An open air circus ring played host to circus inspired acts and some of the region’s finest performers brought an array of specially commissioned street theatre on to the streets of the seaside town.

And the party continued in to the evening with the first Community Carnival Ball – family friendly event with dressing up, makeup artists and circus hi jinks, culminating in a knees up with the Backyard Rhythm Orchestra.

Circus Central entertain the crowds. Picture by Alex Alevroyiannis.

The Whitley Bay Carnival was brought back to life in 2014 by Whitley Bay Big Local and after two hugely successful events it is hoped the Carnival is now a firm fixture in the annual calendar.

This year’s event was once again produced by professional carnival organiser and Whitley Bay resident Carol Alevroyianni, who secured the backing of Whitley Bay Big Local and The National Lottery through Arts Council England as well as number of local businesses.

Carol said: “I am totally overwhelmed by the huge volume of people who came out to support the carnival, the streets were quite literally lined with young and old.

“To see so many smiling faces made all the months of planning and hard work so worthwhile.

“We could not have wished for better weather as the sun shone down over Whitley Bay and showed of our lovely town in all its glory.

“A huge thank you to all those who took part – from the team of volunteers who helped to make the costumes to the artists who brought a wealth of talent to our seaside stage to the hundreds of people who took part in the parade and all those who came along to support.”

Jess Burns, chair of Whitley Bay Big Local, added: “It’s amazing to think how far we have come in three short years.

“When Big Local asked community members what they wanted to see in our community, there was overwhelming support for bringing back the carnival.

“Little did we know it would become such a massive community event in such a short space of time.”

“It is great to see so many different members of the community getting involved not only on the day but in the preparations too.

“The carnival touches the life of so many people and is helping make our town an even better place to be.

“I’m so grateful to Carol for all of the hard work she has put into leading the carnival and making it such an asset to Whitley Bay.”