Preparations for this year’s historic Houghton Feast festival are in the spotlight with the opening ceremony a little over a week away.
The 10-day long event gets underway on Friday, October 2, with the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Barry Curran, set to perform the official switch on of the town’s illuminations.
This fantastic event dates back around 900 years and is an integral part of the community here in Houghton.Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Barry Curran
The family event will bring Houghton’s Broadway to life with a face painters and story tale characters joining in the fun.
The main stage programme will entertain crowds from 7pm with performances from the traditional Houghton Pipe Band, Zazz Dance Group and many more.
School groups will also wow visitors with light-inspired artwork during the course of the evening.
Coun Curran said: “This fantastic event dates back around 900 years and is an integral part of the community here in Houghton.
“It is the community that continues this tradition and I’d like to thank the steering committee and the many volunteers that make this event possible.
“This packed 10 day festival truly has something for everyone and I’d encourage everyone to come along and join in the fun.”
Chairman of Houghton Feast Steering Committee Coun Anne Lawson, said: “Visitors can look forward to some interesting features which will illuminate our community celebrations.
“All the old favourites will be here too, ensuring something for everyone.”
Jessica Regnart of event organisers Sunderland Live added: “We are proud to once again be bringing this incredibly popular event to the city.
“With its origins in the 12th century, Houghton Feast is the longest running event on our calendar and its visitors continue to value this chance to celebrate the importance of local heritage.”
The annual Feast parade will be held on Saturday, October 3, while the annual ox roasting set to take place on Monday, October 5.
The roast honours Bernard Gilpin’s generous act of feeding Houghton’s poor in the 16th Century.
Visitors are invited to enjoy a hot beef sandwich from 4pm before enjoying a colourful firework display at 7.30pm on Durham Road playing field.
For further information on the full Houghton Feast programme of events go to www.houghtonfeast.co.uk.