Hartlepool hosts free Eurovision night party in support of local hero Michael Rice
Hartlepool will host a free Eurovision night party to voice its support for local hero Michael Rice.
Michael, 21, a former McDonald's worker and busker, will represent both the town and United Kingdom in the annual contest.
In honour of his appearance, Love Hartlepool, Love Eurovision takes place in Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre on Saturday, May 18, from 7pm until midnight.
A large video screen will stream all the songs and silliness live from the competition finals in Tel Aviv into the Eurovision- themed auditorium.
Added attractions include a Bongo’s Bingo-style Eurovision bingo with prizes, confetti cannons, spot prizes, dancing to Eurovision classics and a pay-for bar.
Entry is free and includes a Eurovision/Love Hartlepool goody bag although tickets must be booked in advance.
Coun Allan Barclay, the ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, said: “In true Eurovision style, don your craziest costume and bring your family to this special party to show just how much we love Hartlepool and how proud we are of Michael as he sings for us in front of a worldwide audience.”
Michael himself, who attended the town's St Aidan's Primary School and Dyke House School, added: “I’m absolutely delighted that this event is being held at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre and I really hope people enjoy getting together for the celebration.
"It means so much to me knowing that people in my home town are supporting me in this way.
“I can’t wait to represent the UK in Tel Aviv and I’m just grateful for all the support people are giving me – thank you.”
Tickets for the event can be booked either online at www.destinationhartlepool.com, by phone on (01429) 890000 or in person at Hartlepool Art Gallery and Tourist Information Centre, in Church Square.
It is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am-4.30pm and Saturdays 10am-4pm.
No large bags or backpacks are allowed in the Town Hall Theatre.