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New Year celebrations in NewcastleGateshead

30th November 2012

Categories: Latest News

New Year’s Eve always signals a time to celebrate and the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival presents one of the biggest free events across the country in the New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival (Monday 31 December, from 17.00 in Newcastle city centre). 

Drawing on Norse mythologies and Viking folklore, with a sprinkle of North East traditions, hundreds of local residents will take part in the carnival parade as it makes its way from Monument, up Northumberland Street to Newcastle Civic Centre for the traditional early evening firework display at 18.00.

The free, family-friendly festivities begin at 17.00 at Monument as Odin’s wolves start prowling the streets with Thor and the Black Elves looking on.  The mythical World Serpent will slither through the streets, which legend has it, has grown so large it circles the World in its grasp. 

Thor’s Hammers will add some percussive strength to proceedings and the Kingsmen’s fire dance will lead a flaming Viking Longship up Northumberland Street from 17.15.  Listen out for the World Beaters’ Spark drummers whose rhythms will summon the carnival parade to Newcastle Civic Centre for the firework finale.

Carol Bell, head of culture and major events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative said: “We’re very proud to host one of the biggest New Year’s celebrations in the country here in NewcastleGateshead.  Year on year we’ve seen the event grow to include hundreds of local community performers, arts groups and volunteers. 

“Our long time collaborators, and producers of the Winter Carnival, Walk the Plank, have created another brilliant event for all the family to enjoy.  Approximately 40,000 people attended last year’s Winter Carnival and we hope to see more of the same as we welcome in 2013.”

Approximate timings for the New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival Parade:

From 17.00pm:          Music and carnival performance in the streets around Monument.

From 17.15pm:          Parade leaves for Newcastle Civic Centre via Northumberland Street.

6pm:                            Fireworks finale at Newcastle Civic Centre.

Liz Pugh, Producer at Walk the Plank said: “The Winter Carnival wouldn’t be possible without the support of Newcastle City Council Arts Team, Bravura carnival arts, Richard Broderick, the World Beaters musicians and drummers, choreographer Emma McGurrell, technical sponsor, Hi-Lights and the hundreds of community participants from across NewcastleGateshead.  We’d like to thank each and every one of them for making this event so special.”

The Carnival Parade of artists, community performers and volunteers will congregate at Newcastle Civic Centre at 6pm to enjoy an early evening firework finale.  The Metro system will be running a limited service from 6.30pm until approx 11pm.  Passengers are advised to use Journey Planner before travelling.

For night owls heading to the NewcastleGateshead quayside to celebrate the stroke of midnight in restaurants, bars and attractions along the River Tyne, there will be a special New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks display, adding to this year’s festivities in NewcastleGateshead.  The event has been made possible thanks to generous sponsorship from North East supplier of lighting, sound, staging and audio visual equipment, Hi-Lights.

Carol Bell said: “With so many people staying in town to celebrate the arrival of 2013, we wanted to extend some of the carnival celebrations.  A short firework display will take place on the NewcastleGateshead quayside at midnight for those people enjoying New Year in venues and attractions like, The Sage Gateshead, Pitcher and Piano and The Slug and Lettuce. I’d like to thank Hi-Lights for sponsoring the event which is an exciting addition to this year’s New Year’s celebrations.”

Martin Warden, Managing Director of Hi-Lights and sponsor of the NewcastleGateshead Winter Carnival and NewcastleGateshead New Year’s Eve Midnight Fireworks said: “We’ve been involved in some of the region’s biggest cultural events throughout 2012, including Great North Run, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and Stockton International Riverside Festival.

“As a North East business we are very proud of the region and the wealth of talent available here. What better way to celebrate Hi-Light’s most successful year to date, then by lending our support to the biggest party in town this New Year’s Eve.”

For more information about the New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival, New Year’s Eve Midnight Fireworks and the wider NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival, please visit:


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