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Enchanted Parks returns for seventh successive year

30th October 2012

Categories: Latest News

A highlight of NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s Winter Festival, Enchanted Parks returns to Gateshead for its seventh successive year from Wednesday 5 – Sunday 9 December.

The hugely popular event sees Gateshead’s famous Victorian park, Saltwell Park, brought to life with installations ranging from visual arts, performance, sculpture and interactive works.

The theme for this year’s Enchanted Parks draws on Victorian splendour and gothic imagery.  The park itself has provided inspiration for the artists involved in the event, its history and heritage inspiring lots of creative ideas.

Tickets for Enchanted Parks go on sale on Thursday 1 November.  Information on how to purchase tickets is available from

Carol Bell, Head of Culture and Major Events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative and producer of Enchanted Parks said: “We’re putting forward a fresh and alternative festive message this year; we’re almost stepping back in time to remember Christmases of the past.

“The Victoriana theme for this year’s Enchanted Parks evolved as we looked at the proposals submitted by artists.  It became a recurring theme and one which fitted perfectly with the location for the event.

“Again, we’re working with some of the best artists from the North East to deliver another spectacular event.  Enchanted Parks has been taken to people’s hearts and is fast becoming a regular festive tradition and long may it continue.”

Some of the artists involved in this year’s Enchanted Parks include Ross Ashton and Karen Monid who will transform Saltwell Towers with a spectacular sound and light show celebrating the work of William Wailes in Glass House.  The Saltwell Park bandstand provides the location for Arcus Studios’ installation, Memorial in A’. Come forth and witness the performance of a lifetime as history and reality collide. Ladies and Gentlemen... hats off to Dunston Brass Band, as you’ve never seen them before!

Internationally renowned artist Claire Morgan is working on a special piece of work for Enchanted Parks that reflects on people’s relationships with consumerism and excess.  Claire’s work has been shown all over the world and she is particularly well known for her delicate installations and sculptures. 

Full details of all the artists involved in this year’s event is available at

Enchanted Parks takes place from Wednesday 5 – Sunday 9 December 2012.  Tickets are free for children (under 16s, who must be accompanied by an adult) and £6 for adults.  Tickets for Enchanted Parks go on sale on Thursday 1 November.  Information on how to purchase tickets is available from

Enchanted Parks is developed and commissioned by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Gateshead Council as part of its festivals and events programme. The event regularly attracts between thirteen thousand and fifteen thousand people and is now a key part of the winter offer in Gateshead.

Councillor Linda Green, Gateshead’s Cabinet member for Culture, says: “Enchanted Parks is a magical event, and the perfect introduction to the Christmas festivities. It is extremely popular with families and for some, Christmas just wouldn’t be complete without it.

“I am quite certain that local people will be delighted that we are able to stage this magical event at Saltwell Park for another year.”

The event is produced by Magnetic Events.  Enchanted Parks forms part of the wider NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival:

Other events taking place across NewcastleGateshead as part of the Winter Festival include Ouseburn Open Studios (Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 November).  A wide range of creative people including artists, jewellery and furniture makers, graphic designers and printmakers based in Ouseburn, open up their studios for this two day event giving visitors the chance to purchase the wide variety of work on offer.

Across the river, The Sage Gateshead is hosting its first Wine & Food Fair on Saturday 24 November.  Enjoy wines, beers and fine spirits from local, regional and national suppliers as well as some fantastic local produce.  Being in The Sage Gateshead, there’ll also be live music on offer.

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is hosting its BALTIC Shop Christmas Weekend (Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 November).  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 (Monday 31 December, from 17.00 in Newcastle city centre).  Meet Thor and the Black Elves, watch out for Odin’s wolves prowling the streets, and keep your ears open for the Spark drummers whose rhythms summon other strange beasts in this Norse-themed Carnival Parade.  Join in as traditional 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 2013 with a fantastic firework display, set to music.

The New Year festivities don’t stop there.  Sunday 10 February 2013 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 snake with Chinese-inspired events, performances and activities for all the family.

The NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival, created by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, takes place from Thursday 29 November to Monday 31 December 2012 (with additional events taking place into 2013).  For more information, please visit   


The NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival is created by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and funded by Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council and Arts Council England, North East.

Hi-Lights, suppliers of lighting, sound, staging and audio visual equipment, are technical sponsors of the New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival.

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