SUNDERLAND Minister will be transformed into a dance hall for a celebration.
Wearsiders are urged to pull on their dancing shoes for the Fairtrade Fortnight Family Ceilidh this weekend.
The event will mark the end of two weeks of activities to promote Fairtrade Fortnight.
The Reverend Chris Howson, chaplain at Sunderland University, has been throwing himself into all the activities, including a flash mob in The Bridges, with singers giving shoppers a rendition of Harry Belafonte’s Banana Boat Song.
He said: “We will be holding the event in the minster. We will be moving the pews and having a good night of dancing.
“There will also be Fairtrade refreshments and a couple of guest speakers.”
The ceilidh will follow a film night on Friday at the university’s Lord Puttnam Media Suite, which starts at 6pm and gives an insight into the fairtrade problems faced by people in the banana trade.
Anyone is welcome to go along to the free film night. Tickets for the Saturday night ceilidh, costing £5, £3 for concessions and free for under-16s, are available from the minster office.
Rev Howson said the aim was for the fortnight’s festivities to be the best since the city gained Fairtrade status in 2007.
“We wanted to do some bigger things this year to increase public awareness,” he said.
Fairtrade Fortnight has been supported by organisations across the city, and Councillor Iain Kay, the Mayor of Sunderland, said: “Sunderland is a Fairtrade City through a joint community effort.
“Achieving this award is due to the work of many: the council, university and college, partners, schools, businesses, retailers, churches and community groups, who all work together to support Fairtrade.
“There are more than 4,500 products carrying the Fairtrade Mark and many are available to buy in Sunderland.”