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Enchanted Parks makes a welcome return to Gateshead

25th October 2011

Categories: Latest News

NewcastleGateshead Initiative is proud to announce the return of its popular winter event, Enchanted Parks, in Gateshead’s Saltwell Park from Wednesday 7 – Sunday 11 December 2011.

Already a major highlight in NewcastleGateshead’s festival calendar, Enchanted Parks sees Gateshead’s public park transformed into a winter wonderland of atmospheric installations, light, sound and performance.

This year’s theme is Surprise with all installations created especially for the Park following a series of familiarisation visits with the participating artists.  Saltwell Park has been vital in inspiring and shaping the work for this year’s Enchanted Parks.

Carol Bell, Head of Culture & Major Events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said:  “We’re extremely proud to bring Enchanted Parks back to Gateshead.  This event’s popularity has seen it sell-out every year and I’d encourage anyone interested in attending to book early.

“To cope with the huge demand for this event we’re increasing capacity by opening a new entrance to the park.  People using public transport will be able to enter via Saltwell View and those travelling by car will be able to use the Joicey Road entrance.

“The beautiful surroundings of the ‘People’s Park’ is brought to life with the work from some of the region’s finest artists and performers.  It’s the perfect way to get into the festive mood and enjoy one of the best events in our year long calendar.”

Enchanted Parks 2011 will feature performance, light, interactive art and ice.  All five senses will be stimulated as visitors to the event discover the surprises hidden within Saltwell Park.  

The artists involved in this year’s event include Johnny Goodwin and his work ‘Stained Ice Window’, an ever-changing window of steel and ice, at the mercy of the elements.  Molly Barrett and Adam Riley present ‘The Medusa’.  Will she cast her spell on you as Medusa rises once again in this dark and sorrowful tale?  Michelle Wall’s ‘The Magical Door’ opens the path to your imagination. What will you find there...?  ‘Ladies of the Light’ by Bare Toad Dance Company and Richard Broderick revives Saltwell Park’s bygone Victorian era.  See figures high in the trees as they dance, deceive and delight.

Full details of all the artists involved in this year’s event will be available at in late October.

Enchanted Parks takes place from Wednesday 7 – Sunday 11 December 2011.  Tickets are free for children (under 16s, who must be accompanied by an adult) and £6 for adults.  Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 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 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 / BALTIC SHOP Christmas Weekend / Winter Fair (Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 November).  This packed weekend is a shopper’s paradise.  The studios in the Ouseburn Valley are home to a wide range of creative people including artists, jewellery and furniture makers, graphic designers and printmakers.  With a wide variety of work on offer to buy, this unique open weekend adds a touch of sparkle to the tedium of Christmas shopping.

Festivities continue across the river in Gateshead with the new Winter Fair which takes place inside a seasonally decorated St Mary’s Church.  Following on from the success of last year’s Frost Fair, the Winter Fair provides a mixture of local crafts and food stalls and will showcase the wealth of arts, crafts and traditional food in North East England.

Rounding off this special weekend of festive events is BALTIC Shop Christmas Weekend.  Take advantage of a variety of special season offers on some unique products, exclusive to BALTIC. 

New Year’s Eve always signals a time to celebrate and the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival presents one of the biggest events across the country in the New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival (Friday 31 December, from 2.30pm).  Meet Thor and the Black Elves, watch out for Odin’s wolves prowling the streets, and see Heimdall on his white stallion leaping over the Rainbow Bridge in this brand new Carnival Parade.  Join in as traditional folk music and dance meet carnival performance as the parade moves off from Monument, along Northumberland Street, to Newcastle Civic Centre where the New Year’s Eve firework finale lifts off at 6pm. Wave hello to 2012 with a fantastic themed firework display, set to music.

The New Year festivities don’t stop there!  Monday 23 January 2012 marks the arrival of Chinese New Year and NewcastleGateshead is celebrating in style.  Join in the festivities as we usher in the year of the dragon with Chinese-inspired events, performances and activities for all the family on the weekend of Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January.

Enjoy traditional crafts, dance, martial arts, food and drink, games and much more with a jampacked programme of events culminating in a vibrant and colourful day of celebrations on and around Stowell Street on Sunday 29 January.  Watch the spectacular dragon, lion and unicorn dances under the ornate Ceremonial Arch as you hear firecrackers explode, taste delicious Oriental foods, witness amazing traditional performances and join in the excitement of this joyful event.


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


 For further details see

Enchanted Parks is created by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with Gateshead Council.  Funded by: Gateshead Council and Northern Rock Foundation.  Produced by: Magnetic events.

The NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival is created by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and funded by, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council and the Northern Rock Foundation.  The New Years Eve Winter Carnival is produced by Walk the Plank.


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