Hartlepool Carnival’s annual funfair got underway with a high octane display from a town cheerleading squad.
Youngsters from the Hartlepool Hawks Cheerleading Academy heralded the arrival of Murphy’s Funfair on the Headland featuring white-knuckle rides and amusements.
The Hawks’ various teams got things off with a bang by performing a mind-boggling display of stunts including mid-air somersaults and back flips.
Billy Freeman, who runs the fair, which has been part of the carnival for nearly 50 years, said: “If it is anything like last year it will be a real good success.
“The Hawks have ben coming now for about seven years and always bring along a good turnout. They were brilliant.”
Following the energetic display by the cheerleaders, the fair was officially opened by Hartlepool’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Paul Beck who was accompanied by his wife Mary.
Coun Beck said: “Mary and I are really honoured to be asked to open the funfair.
“We have a long friendship with the Murphy family and long may the venture continue.
“It is a premier event in the Hartlepool calender.”
Hundreds of people flocked to the funfair on Moor Parade within hours of it opening to sample the rides, including the waltzers, ghost train and more hair-raising rides.
The fair is open from 2pm to 10pm every day between now and carnival day on Saturday, August 6.
Meanwhile, carnival organisers are appealing for the community to support the Best Dressed House, Business and Garden competitions.
Judging takes place on Friday, August 5 at 1pm, but entrants need to register in advance online.
There are voucher prizes for the Best Dressed House and Garden winners and a trophy for the most eye-catching business.
Register at www.eventstop.co.uk/event/9/best_dressed_garden, www.eventstop.co.uk/event/10/best_dressed_house and www.eventstop.co.uk/event/11/best_dressed_business