Hartlepool’s historic Headland will be alive with activity this weekend when a large and dazzling community arts festival will light up the town.
The fourth annual Wintertide Festival will take place for the fourth time and promises a feast of fun and entertainment for the whole family across several sites.
It will include scores of activities that people can join in with, crafts and handmade wares, festive market, art performances, live music, and funfair.
Wintertide begins on Friday night with a lantern parade at 5.30pm from the Heugh Gun Battery Museum to the Town Square outside the Borough Hall.
Pupils from St Bega’s and St Helen’s Primary Schools will showcase their lantern creations.
Visitors are welcome to bring their own bells or musical instruments and illuminations and join in the parade.
Father Christmas will officially open the festival with a Christmas lights switch on.
Organisers were unsure if the festival would go ahead this year until the community responded to a funding appeal.
Rachel Laycock and Emma Wheetman, co directors of BloomInArt, and festival vice chairs said: “The community responded to our plea for help and we are thrilled that Wintertide 2018 is upon us.
“This is a festival ran by volunteers for the community to celebrate our local talent, heritage and culture.
“So many exciting collaborations have occurred over the past year to make this festival happen.
“We feel the quality of events for the festival audience are inclusive and of a high standard.
“We have a mixture of free and paid for events from a festive market, Santa’s grotto, creative workshops to fire dancers, circus skills and illuminated artwork.
“There is something for everyone.”
Activities continue throughout Saturday and Sunday and the whole festival will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display on the Pilot Pier from 6pm-6.30pm on Sunday.
Councillor Kevin Cranney, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “The festival provides a great opportunity to showcase the many attractions and wonderful community spirit that exists on the Headland and I would encourage people to support it.”
The festival is supported by Arts Council England, Tees Valley Community Foundation, Persimmon Community Champions, Hartlepool ward councillors and parish councils, Thirteen Group, Sunderland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form, Pixel Boy and support in kind from Hartlepool Borough Council.
Organisers also expressed special thanks to the Northern School Of Art and Hartlepool College of Further Education.
For the full run down everything happening in the festival, visit the website www.wintertidefest.com