Dancers in last year's parade

One of the UK’s biggest free festivals, the South Tyneside Festival, is set to return this summer, with a parade theme that is out of this world.

The South Tyneside Festival will bringing three months of live music, family activities and entertainment to the region, kicking off in June.

And this year, the annual Summer Parade is drawing inspiration from the cosmos with its Space Fantasy theme, celebrating everything from Star Wars to the moon landing.

The parade will take place on Saturday 6 July, where hundreds of youth groups, schools and community organisations will be embracing the theme under the artistic direction of South Shields-based carnival company Creative Seed.

Impressive floats and colourful costumes will head through the town, ending at Bents Park where there will be an afternoon of free entertainment, including a grand finale performance.

The Amphitheatre will be hosting musicians throughout summer, with live music every Thursday and Saturday evening in June, except 8 June, and brass band concerts every Sunday afternoon in June, July and August, except 7 July – when Proms in the Park will take place at Bents Park.

And the popular Sunday concerts will return to Bents Park on 14, 21, 28 July and 4 August, with a host of big names still to be announced.

South Marine Park will once again host the bandstand concerts, organised by The Friends of North and South Marine Parks, which will showcase local bands on 27 July, 3, 10, 17, 31 August and 7 September.

Parents looking for ways to entertain children during the summer will be able to make the most of the Kids Fun-Fest, which takes place every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 1-22 August.

Cllr Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, is looking forward to a packed programme of events.

“The South Tyneside Festival is a fantastic event for South Shields and attracts visitors from all over the region and beyond,” said Cllr Kerr.

“There are some brilliant events lined up for all ages and interests and it will be wonderful to see the Summer Parade bring the Space Fantasy theme to life.

“It is set to be an amazing summer of music, which will get even better when the Sunday concerts line-up is announced, and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to enjoy South Shields over the three-month event.”

The South Tyneside Festival is organised by South Tyneside Council and supported by BBC Newcastle 95.4FM

For more information, visit www.southtynesidefestival.co.uk, search South Tyneside Events on Facebook or follow @STynesideEvents on Twitter.

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