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27th October 2010

Categories: Latest News

NewcastleGateshead Initiative is proud to announce the return of Enchanted Parks at Gateshead’s Saltwell Park from Wednesday 8 – Sunday 12 December 2010.  The hugely popular festive event sees Gateshead’s public park transformed into a winter wonderland of atmospheric installations, light, sound and performance. 

This year’s theme is A Gateshead Winter’s Tale which celebrates the special time of the year when stories are brought to life and the long, dark and cosy nights of winter are warmed with visiting friends, family and excitement.

Carol Bell, Head of Culture & Major Events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative said:  “Enchanted Parks is one of the most popular events in NewcastleGateshead’s calendar.  It captures the imagination of the community, artists and the thousands of people that buy tickets every year.

“The event has established a profile nationally and attracts visitors from outside the region.  This year’s Enchanted Parks will be the most ambitious yet and promises to offer attendees a truly magical experience.” 

Installations in this year’s Enchanted Parks event include; Cabinet of Curiosity’s Winter Wardrobe, step through the wardrobe and enter a land frozen in eternal winter.  November Club’s Twelfth Day Cake, the Lord of Misrule and other stories.  Enter a world of misrule, topsy-turveyness and the magnificence of the ancient custom of the Twelfth Day Cake and its colourful characters.  And, Left Luggage Theatre’s, A Gateshead Fairytale.  Look closely and the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales come alive in miniature. Listen carefully and you’ll hear children’s voices telling their favourite tales.

This year’s Enchanted Parks Student Commission Award has been sponsored by John Lewis, Newcastle.  The John Lewis Student Commissions Award will be presented to two students from Northumbria, Newcastle or Sunderland University, giving them the invaluable opportunity to work alongside experienced artists, producers and technical crew. 

Barry Blamire, Chief Executive of John Lewis Newcastle said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for some of our region’s talented students to take part in a major event and display their work alongside professional artists.  John Lewis Newcastle is committed to supporting and nurturing young talent.

“We are happy to be part of something that so many people enjoy during the festive season.”

Enchanted Parks takes place from Wednesday 8 – Sunday 12 December 2010.  Tickets are free for children (under 16s) and £5 for adults.  Tickets go on sale on Monday 1 November, 9am and can be purchased online at or by phone on 0191 433 6965.

Enchanted Parks is developed and commissioned by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Gateshead Council as part of its high quality, distinctive and family-friendly festivals and events programme. The event is produced by Magnetic Events.  Enchanted Parks forms part of the wider NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival:

This year’s Winter Festival also includes:  Ouseburn Open Studios (Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 November).  Nestled away in the Ouseburn Valley, artists, craftspeople, designers and makers will be opening their studio doors to give a behind the scenes peek into their creative hubs. With eight galleries and studios across the Ouseburn Valley offering special events over the Ouseburn Open Studios weekend, there’s plenty to explore.

Festivities continue across the river in Gateshead with the exciting Frost Fair (Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 November) which provides a bountiful offering of gifts and festive morsels.  Situated in Performance Square, Gateshead the Frost Fair’s many stalls and vendors will be selling everything from ceramics, stained glass, jewellery, textile and photography prints to handmade chocolates, local chesses, organic meats and mouth-watering cupcakes and muffins.  There will also be special appearances from the Cairngorm Reindeer at Gateshead Heritage @ St Mary’s throughout the weekend.

Rounding off this special weekend of festive events is BALTIC Shop Christmas Weekend (Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 November).  Take advantage of a variety of special season offers on some unique products, exclusive to BALTIC.  Children and families can also create their own Festive Forest decorations with a freelance artist from BALTIC in the cosy heated marquee on Baltic Square (11am-6pm).

The NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival enjoys an epic finale with the New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival (Friday 31 December, from 2.30pm).  Come and see Newcastle’s very own Ice Queen and her entourage of local community participants warm up a cold winter’s day.  Fantastic illuminated costumes, mischievous characters and musicians parade through the streets of Newcastle, culminating in the annual early-evening fireworks display at Newcastle Civic Centre.

Starting at 2.30pm in Newcastle City Centre, warm-up with the carnival atmosphere in the streets around monument and from 5.15pm, follow the parade as it makes way to Newcastle’s Civic Centre for the 6pm fireworks display.  The New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival is free to attend.


For further information, interview requests, images etc, please contact David Brookbanks, Media & PR Manager for NewcastleGateshead Initiative on 0191 440 5740 / 07946 581 417 or email


Enchanted Parks is funded by Arts Council England, North East, Gateshead Council and Northern Rock Foundation.  For further details see

Please find below a full list of all the artist commissions at this year’s Enchanted Parks event.

1.  Window by ADEPT
See the Christmas story come to life through ADEPT's magical stained glass window.

2.  Winter Wardrobe by Cabinet of Curiosity
Step through the wardrobe and enter a land frozen in eternal winter.

3.  Brown Bear by Andrew Hardie
If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise… One, two, three, say gggrrrr.

4.   Xsite Architecture 
Stop, put your feet up…the door is ajar, have a closer look for yourself.

5.  A Gateshead Fairytale by Left Luggage Theatre
Look closely and the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales come alive in miniature. Listen carefully and you’ll hear children’s voices telling their favourite tales.

6.  Shhhhh… It’s bedtime by Bare Toed Dance Company 
Be lulled into a world of dreams and sleep...see figures high up in the trees as they toss and turn and fly and fall…

7.  The Enchanted Orary by Dodgy Clutch 
Join our starry messenger onboard an intergalactic time machine as he travels on his winter’s journey, through time.

8.  Twelfth Day Cake, the Lord of Misrule and other stories by November Club 
Enter a world of misrule, topsy-turveyness and the magnificence of the ancient custom of the Twelfth Day Cake and its colourful characters.

9.  Pavilion of Dreams by Ross Ashton
Stumble across a magical piece of fairytale architecture…

10.  The Sirens Song by Adam Riley and Molly Barrett
Venture down to the dene for a darker fairytale, home of the seductive Sirens. Don’t let them lure you in with their enchanting song.

11.  Sanctuary by Joss Wrigg
No more will you falter, feel the wild huntsman's wrath, with a talisman to guide you toward a brighter path...


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