Whitley Bay Carnival is all about joining in and having fun as we mark the start of the summer season.
Top of the wish list of Whitley Bay locals in a 2013 Big Local survey was to bring the town’s Carnival back after a 30 year gap.
Since 2014 visitor numbers have grown from an estimated 2,000 to around 20,000 in 2019 with over 10,000 people lining the streets to see the Saturday morning parade.
The thousand strong costumed parade with it’s live music and giant parade pieces now involves rehearsals and work in carnival clubs throughout the year. It is the centrepiece of a colourful family celebration bringing crowds to the Spanish City Plaza and Links to enjoy circus, street arts, live music and more alongside traditional seaside fairground rides, street food, craft ale bars, the arts market and trade stalls.
The local community from octogenarian knit and natter groups and New Prospects learning disabled adults to Barnardos Youth groups are heavily invested in carnival and feel a real sense of ownership. Many of the audience number are also participants with almost 2,000 locals helping to make carnival happen in 2019.