SLIDESHOW: Thousands at Headland Carnival parade

THOUSANDS of people lined the streets as the annual Headland Carnival came to a spectacular end.

Black clouds loomed overhead, but thankfully the rain held off as young and old came together to enjoy the Grand Carnival Parade and nutty slack race – the traditional end to the fortnight-long carnival celebrations.

Headland Carnival Parade

Headland Carnival Parade

The Headland was awash with colour as hundreds took part in the parade and thousands more looked on, with residents also looking out of their windows to get a better view.

The parade got underway at 4pm from the Borough Hall, led by a traditional pipe band, with an African-themed float leading the way complete with people dressed as lions and tigers.

Behind the float were mods on scooters, classic cars, a classic bus and groups including the Hartlepool Hawks cheerleaders.

The streets were also awash with fancy-dress clad characters including Superman, Super Mario, the Flowerpot Men, Stormtroopers, characters from television and film as the parade made its way onto Northgate, Durham Street, and back to the Borough Hall.

As well as the parade there was also the nutty slack race, which sees competitors carrying a bag of coal on their back from the Headland Gate to the Borough Hall, and this year it was won by Darren Smith, from Clavering.

Darren, a radiographer at the University Hospital in North Tees, plays rugby for BBOB and he said training for them helped him over the line.

The 31-year-old said: “I have done it before but I am delighted to win it.

“I play rugby for Old Boys and while I hadn’t trained especially for the nutty slack, my rugby training certainly came in handy.”

The annual parade and nutty slack race is the traditional end to the Headland Carnival celebrations, which has seen beauty contests and bonny baby competitions among other activities.

The activities are the culmination of 12 months of hard work for the Headland Carnival committee.