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Information on the St. Nicholas Festival.

The 7th St. Nicholas Festival 2005 - 2nd & 3th December

Come along to the heart of Whitley Bay and visit the French and Northumbrian Markets with fresh produce straight from the farm including: HONEY, CHEESE, FOIE GRAS, CAKES, WINE, FRESH BREAD, CREPES, NORTHUMBRIAN BBQ, MEATS SAUSAGE etc.

Enjoy the programme of entertainment from various local groups and fun fair rides for all the family!

Photos taken on the evening 2 December 2005

Programme

Friday 2 December 2005

4.00pm Switch on Christmas Lights

In the grounds of St Paulís Church, Park View. Mayor John Harrison, Alan Campbell MP and Chair Councillor, Marian Huscroft will turn on the Whitley Bay Christmas lights.

4.30pm Schools Lantern Procession.

Children from various schools Marine, Monkseaton, Marden and Rockliffe will weave their way into the grounds of St Paulís Church then into the town centre via the new shopping mall with hand made lanterns.

Fairground and Market

The Fairground, French and Northumbrian Market will be open where produce including: honey, foie gras, cheese, meats, jams, cakes, crepes, freshly baked bread and a Northumbrian BBQ will be available.

Local retailers in Whitley Bay will stay open for late night Christmas shopping.

Saturday 3 December 2005

10.am to 4pm French and Northumbrian Market in Whitley Bay Town Centre

Traders from France will be selling honey, foie gras, wine, cheese, sausage, cakes, crepes and freshly baked bread.

Produce from Northumbria will include, cheese, fresh meats, jams and cakes.

10am to 2pm St Nicholas Fair at St Paul\ís Church

All the usual stalls including two raffles with a special Christmas hamper raffle, tombola, bric-a-brac, refreshments, a cake stall and many other attractions.

10.30am to 4pm Street entertainment and fairground in Whitley Bay Town Centre.

10.30am to 12am Salvation Army Band

12am to 1pm North Tyneside Steel Band

1pm to 2.30pm Salvation Army Band

2.30pm to 3pm Stagecoach Theatre School

3pm to 3.30pm Whitley Bay Pantomime Society - Excerpts from Sleeping Beauty

Saturday 26th November - St Nicholas Festival Curtain Raiser with the Priory Singers and Orchestra

The St Nicholas Festival Curtain Raiser with conductor Glenn Davis presenting Handel's Oratorio, Messiah with Rachel Orr (soprano) Susan Davis (contralto) Robin Lynn-Evans (tenor) Robert Seaton (baritone) will be held at St Mary's Church, Claremont Road, Monkseaton on Saturday 26th November at 6.30pm

Tickets are available from Whitley Bay Playhouse, choir members or by phoning 0191 2531865

Whats the Festival about?

The Whitley Bay St Nicholas Festival, now in its seventh, is firmly established as a welcome start to the Christmas season. It was first started by the then vicar of St Paulís, Father Norman Banks, before he left for Walsingham.

This year it will be held on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd of December, marking the feast day of St Nicholas. You will find details of the varied events in this programme, with something for everyone, from live entertainment, fun fair rides, to the ever-popular food market, with farmers from France and Northumbria.

St Nicholas himself was Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor, (now known as Turkey) who lived in the fourth century. He is regarded as the patron saint of children, sailors, merchants, bakers, pawnbrokers and prisoners (quite a workload for one saint!). At the end of the 11th century some Italian merchants transported the remains from Myra to Bari in Italy, where his tomb is now a shrine.

The custom of celebrating St Nicholas as the patron saint of children has survived in many countries of Europe, notably The Netherlands, where Sinterklaas Day on December 5 is more important than Christmas. Dutch people took the custom to the United States, where Sinterklaas was transformed into Santa Claus.

Have a good St Nicholas festival!

For further information, please contact the Whitley Bay Playhouse on 0191 252 6857.

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