Captain America, Star-Lord and even Dr Who entertain the crowds at Houghton Feast parade

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Stilt-walkers, superheroes, and even the new Dr Who dazzled the crowds at Houghton Feast Parade today.

Hundreds of people lined Newbottle Street as the parade took half an hour to wend its way through the town centre.

The circus animals wave to the crowds

The circus animals wave to the crowds

This year's Feast is taking on a movie theme - The Greatest Show.

And the parade certainly lived up to the billing, with a range of local community organisations, nurseries and sports teams all taking part, led off by Houghton-le-Spring Pipes and Drum Band.

There was even a miniature circus steam train, towing cages full of (friendly) wild animals.

And no Houghton Feast parade would be complete without an array of stunning vehicles.

The band leads off the parade

The band leads off the parade

This year saw vintage and classic cars and lorries - including a silver DeLorean, complete with Marty McFly and a pint-size Doc Brown, and Del Boy's famouts yellow Robin Reliant, with inflatable friends..

There were dozens of motorbikes, huge American trucks and massive HGV tractor units thrilling the crowds with a blast of their horns.

The ten days of Feast celebrations kicked off in fine style last night.

The big lights switch-on was carried out by by Mayor of Sunderland Coun Lynda Scanlan and her consort FA Cup legend Micky Horswill.

Dozens of youngsters took part

Dozens of youngsters took part

Organisers have a vast array of events lined up for this year's Feast.

Over the coming days there are dozens of activities and events planned to keep everyone entertained.

This weekend includes a photograph exhibition in the town centre, display of mining banners and a fairground model exhibition in Houghton Methodist Church.

The parade line up included one lady dressed as Jodie Whittaker, the 13th Dr Who. The new series of the hit show starts on BBC1 tomorrow evening.

And ‘Geek Feast’ - Houghton's first sci-fi and fantasy convention, will be held at the Sports and Wellness Centre in Station Road between 11am and 5pm tomorrow, complete with an appearance by Sunderland actress Melanie Hill, whose credits alongside Coronation Street, Bread and Waterloo Road, include Merlin and Stardust.

For a complete run-down of the week's events, click here.