Spectacular start planned for Houghton Feast

Spectacular start planned for Houghton Feast

Music, performance and a spectacular laser show will light up the Broadway in Houghton on Friday 7 October to celebrate the beginning of the Houghton Feast 2016.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alan Emerson will declare the Feast officially open and switch on the illuminations at 6.55pm

Councillor Emerson said: “I am delighted to be taking part in the opening ceremony of the Houghton Feast.

“It is a unique celebration festival which is steeped in tradition, bringing together people of all ages from across the community.

I can’t wait to see the performances and I am sure everyone who joins in the celebrations will have a fantastic time.”

The ancient festival has been running since the 12th Century as a two-day fair, which was extended to ten days in 1967. The ten-day festival will run this year from 7 - 16 October in various locations across Houghton-le-Spring.

It combines a unique mix of traditional and modern activities that will bring together performances from community, voluntary and professionally staged events. The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Hollywood’.

The opening ceremony on Friday 7 October begins with a parade of local school children at 6.55pm. Pipe bands, drummers, singers and dancers make up the entertainment for the evening, culminating in the lights being switched on at 7.45pm, followed by a spectacular laser show.

Councillor Anne Lawson, Chair of Houghton Feast Steering Group said: “Houghton Feast incorporates everything that is good about a festival. It has history, tradition, music, performances, colour and celebration.

“Most importantly, it engages the local community. We are delighted that once again we have been able to work in fantastic partnership with local schools and community groups, which have all played a key role in the festival.

“We welcome everyone along to join in the celebrations on Friday which are sure to be a fantastic occasion as always.”

The evening also includes a large fairground which will be on site until October 15.

Andrew Bainbridge, Head Teacher at Bernard Gilpin Primary School in Houghton said: "The feast is a great way to celebrate our community's culture and heritage. Our school takes great pride in supporting such a fantastic event and is thrilled to be once again taking an active role.

"Our pupils have worked hard on their lanterns, which I'm sure you'll agree are brilliant in every sense of the word. I hope everyone will enjoy seeing them paraded at the opening on Friday night."

Friday 7 October - opening night, the Broadway, Houghton.
Pre-event Free family entertainment from 6pm
Parade, lights switch on and laser show - 6.55pm

Saturday 8 October
Carnival parade - 2pm. Newbottle Street to the Broadway.

Monday 10 October
Roasting the ox - 4pm. First carving by Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Alan Emerson Houghton Feast funfair field, opposite Kepier Academy School, Dairy Lane.
Free firework spectacular - 7.30pm, Durham Road Playing Fields

There is also a huge range of community activities taking place, with everything from heritage walks and photo exhibitions to music recitals and craft fairs. For more information on them, go to www.houghtonfeast.co.uk

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Did you know?

Roker Park has welcomed back the annual illuminations for the last two years. This popular event attracts thousands of families to the historical park to enjoy lit displays.


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