Hetton Dragonboat Race and Festival to roar back to life

Second annual Dragonboat Race and Festival.
Event organiser Fiona Harnett
Second annual Dragonboat Race and Festival. Event organiser Fiona Harnett
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Dragons are set to take flight as a popular community festival makes a return.

Following the success of combining the Hetton Dragonboat race with Hetton Festival last year, the two events will be held together again this year, on Sunday July 30.

Second annual Dragonboat Race and Festival.
Event organiser Fiona Harnett

Second annual Dragonboat Race and Festival. Event organiser Fiona Harnett

Taking place at Hetton Lyons Country Park, the event will feature the dragonboat race, organised by Rotary North East England, as well as a bar, carnival rides, a go cart grand prix, appearances by the cadets, as well as artisan food and street food stalls with activities also taking place in the Springboard Centre.

Musical entertainment will come from pit pop band Dennis, Nutopians and Jay Carr.

The event has been organised by events company Events2gogo who decided to combine the two events in a bid to bring back the colourful community spirit of Hetton Carnival, which ran from the ‘70s to the early 2000s.

Fiona Harnett said: “The first community event last year proved hugely successful and we had 5,000 people come along. This one looks set to be even bigger and better and we’re hoping for nice weather to help bring in the crowds.

“We decided to bring back Hetton Festival after reading comments about it on a forum on Facebook, with people saying they would love to see it return. It’s a great community event for all the family and it’s great to see everyone enjoying themselves in such a picturesque setting.”

For the Dragonboat element of the day, around 20 teams are expected to compete, with entries still open for teams on the Rotary Club’s website.

•Hetton Dragonboat Race and Festival will take place on Sunday, July 30, from 10am to 4pm. Entry is free.