11 Houghton Feast events to enjoy over the next 10 days

A flashback to 2013, when then-Mayor of Sunderland Coun Robert Heron tucks into the first slices of the Houghton Feast Ox Roast.
A flashback to 2013, when then-Mayor of Sunderland Coun Robert Heron tucks into the first slices of the Houghton Feast Ox Roast.
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Houghton Feast gets underway this weekend, with thousands of people expected to visit the ancient festival’s events over its 10 days.

Dating back 900 years, there is something for people of all ages to get involved in, from the feast parade, exhibitions, the famous ox roasting and annual fireworks spectacular.

Launching Houghton Feast 2015 are Zazz Performing Arts dancers Victoria Bower, Abbie Brown, Katie Dover, Arts Isiziba drummer Fanuel, Burnside Primary pupils, Logan Scholick, James Howell, Lily Hodgson with Coun Anne Lawson.

Launching Houghton Feast 2015 are Zazz Performing Arts dancers Victoria Bower, Abbie Brown, Katie Dover, Arts Isiziba drummer Fanuel, Burnside Primary pupils, Logan Scholick, James Howell, Lily Hodgson with Coun Anne Lawson.

The fun starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday, October 11.

Here are 11 notable events which you may want to get yourself along to this year.

1. The feast is officially launched with the Houghton Feast Tattoo tomorrow at The Broadway, next to St Michael’s and All Angels Church, starting at 7pm.

Houghton Pipe Band as well as singers and dancers from Zazz will be performing while school groups will present their “Light” inspired artwork.

Last year's Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Stuart Porthouse, switches on the lights in Houghton Broadway.

Last year's Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Stuart Porthouse, switches on the lights in Houghton Broadway.

The Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran will also be turning on the feast illuminations ahead of a firework show. Be sure to get there early for a good view!

2. An exhibition of old Houghton photographs takes place from 8am to 3pm on Saturday, in The Broadway. Members of Houghton Heritage Society will be on hand to provide more detail and answer any questions.

3. Houghton town centre will come to a standstill on Saturday afternoon with the annual Carnival Parade.

Classic cars, colourful community groups and clown Billy Purvis are all set to feature.

Houghton Feast Carnival Parade 2014 along Newbottle Street in Houghton.

Houghton Feast Carnival Parade 2014 along Newbottle Street in Houghton.

Members of organisers Houghton Round Table will be collecting for worthy causes en route too do if you can spare some change, do so.

4. Following the parade finale, a vintage car show will take place in the grounds of Kepier Academy, in Dairy Lane.

At the same time, performances by community groups will be put on in Rectory Park.

5. Houghton Feast Sunday sees the festival’s craft and food market, which is being held from 10am to 4pm at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve.

Houghton Feast Carnival Parade 2014.

Houghton Feast Carnival Parade 2014.

More than 70 stalls will be selling local produce, real ales, bread, jewellery, clothing and antiques.

6.One of the most famous Feast traditions is the roasting of the ox.

Houghton Rotary Club prepare the meal overnight before the Mayor carves the first slices at 4pm on Monday, October 5, in Rectory Field. All proceeds will go towards charitable causes.

7. See the skies above Houghton lit up with a kaleidoscope of colours with the firework spectacular on Durham Road playing fields.

Sponsored by the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain’s Northern Section, thousands of people turn up to the hugely popular event each year.

8. Houghton Feast Boxing Show is set to pack a punch. It takes place on Wednesday, October 7, at Dubmire WMC in Fence Houses. Tickets are £15 and can be booked by calling 07780 008118.

9. History buffs will be queuing up to get on the Houghton Heritage Walk. Those interested should meet at the entrance to the library in Newbottle Street at 11am on Saturday, October 10.

The walk takes in the town’s historical buildings and notable locations.

10. The 32nd annual Houghton Feast Variety Show takes place at Zazz Theatre on Sunday, October 11, starting at 5.30pm. Tickets are priced £6 and £5 for concessions.

11. No Houghton Feast events list would be complete without mentioning the ever-popular fun fair, complete with its rides and attractions, which runs from tomorrow afternoon until Saturday, October 10.

Are you attending any other feast events which we’ve missed out? Let us know in the comments below.