A GIANT dog with a gramophone tail will help kick off Brass: Durham International Festival 2012 this weekend.
The Brassy Hound, who carries a singer and seven-piece band, will lead a carnival parade through Chester-le-Street on Friday.
Created by Irish street theatre company Macnas, the float will travel along Front Street from 7.30pm, accompanied by cabaret performers.
The party atmosphere will continue at the town’s Civic Heart, with a concert by the reeds, brass and percussion sounds of Tongues of Fire.
The carnival marks the start of Brass, an annual celebration of County Durham’s musical heritage.
Organised by Durham County Council, this year’s festival promises 17 days of street performances, interactive art installations, community and educational activities and mass events.
“The Brassy Hound carnival parade offers the perfect start to Brass 2012,” said arts team manager Sally Dixon.
“It will be lively, colourful and fun with the best in brass music – exactly how we would describe the festival as a whole.”
The festival opening weekend festival includes the return of Streets of Brass, which will see UK and international bands enlivening Durham City from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday.
This year, Streets of Brass also includes a revolutionary carnival procession on the River Wear, created by American artist and musician Arto Lindsay.