Hartlepool’s Headland area will be buzzing with three days of activities for all ages in a new winter festival this weekend.
The Wintertide Festival brings together live music, arts, crafts, theatre, and film screenings at various locations across the Headland – and most of it is free.
It is being organised by a partnership of key organisations including the Hartlepool Carnival Committee, the Headland Local History Group, Headland Parish Council, St Hilda’s Church, St Helen’s and St Bega’s primary schools and the Heugh Gun Battery Museum.
The event is also being supported by Hartlepool Borough Council.
It all starts tomorrow night when more than 100 local schoolchildren will take part in a lantern parade from 5.30pm to 6pm from the Heugh Gun Battery Museum through the grounds of St Hilda’s Church and into the Town Square.
Each child will carry their own handcrafted lanterns.
That will be followed at 6pm with the switch-on of the Headland’s Christmas tree and dramatic projections which will tell the story of the Headland.
Amazing artworks by local artist Stuart Langley will also light up the festival area.
Festival organisers said: “Wintertide is a celebration of the Headland and its community.
“We have developed a three-day programme of events, activities and entertainment to celebrate this proud area and to welcome visitors from far and wide.
“Wintertide has been developed by volunteers and the programme aims to offer something for every type of visitor.”
More than 30 bands will perform for free over the weekend plus there will be four ticketed events including shows by folk musician Eliza Carthy and Tees Valley favourites Cattle & Cane.
There will be free live music to enjoy from 8pm on Friday at Mary Rowntrees, at York Place, and the Fishermans Arms, at Southgate.
On Saturday, a variety of craft workshops will take place at Headland Sports Hall between 10am–3.30pm.
See www.bloominart.co.uk/events for prices and details.
On Saturday and Sunday a Festive Outdoor Market will be held in Town Square and Gardens filled with festive traders in traditional wooden cabins as well as a table-top market, Santa’s grotto and his helpers, all from noon to 6pm.
The Borough Hall is holding an afternoon of free theatre, music and dance from 2pm-5pm.
Film fans can visit the Borough Hall’s Croft Room for a celebration of independent movies between 2pm and 6pm and is also free.
On Sunday, it will screen festive Kids’ films including Frozen, Home Alone and The Grinch from 10am to 4pm.
Between 11am and 3pm the hall will hold an indoor craft market with added music and dance performances.
The grand finale takes place in the Town Square and Gardens at 6pm with closing fireworks and live music by Hartlepool’s own White Negroes.
See www.destinationhartlepool.com for a full schedule.