Everything you need to know about what's on when at the Houghton Feast 2019

From the opening ceremony to the fireworks display here’s a look at what’s on when for this year’s Houghton Feast:

Saturday, 21st September 2019, 4:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 4:24 pm
Annual Houghton Feast parade in Newbottle Street last year.

The Fairground

From thrill rides and fairground games there’s something for everyone at the fairground. The fairground will set up camp for the duration of the feast.

Where? Rectory Park. When? See below. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Station Road and Brinkburn Crescent (173 spaces).

Zazz dancers at the launch of last year's Houghton Feast

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Here's the opening times:

Friday, October 4 – 6pm to 10pm;

Saturday, October 5 – 1pm to 10pm;

Sunday, October 6 – closed;

Back to the Future themed car at last year's parade

Monday, October 7 to Friday, October 11– 6pm to 10pm;

Saturday, October 12 – 1pm to 10pm (final night).

FESTIVAL LAUNCH – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4

The Houghton Feast 2019 Opening Ceremony

Annual Houghton Feast parade in Newbottle Street

A spectacular community show on the Broadway will kick start the annual feast. Colourful flags made by schoolchildren will decorate the area as Houghton Pipe Band, Zazz Dancers, Houghton Area Youth Brass Band, The New Houghton Feast Children’s Choir and the Winner of the Voice of Houghton 2019 singing contest will entertain the crowds.

At the end of the outdoor show the Houghton Feast illuminations will be switched on by the Mayor of Sunderland Coun David Snowdon.

Where? The Broadway. When? 7pm to 7.50pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Station Road & Brinkburn Crescent (173 spaces)

Time for Tea – Coffee Morning.

Houghton Feast firework display in 2017

Pop in for a hot drink and and biscuit and say hello.

Where? Houghton Methodist Church. When? 9.30am to 11.30am. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Pottery Yard/Bowlby Street (48 spaces).

The Fun Fair: A Special Opening (for invited S.E.N.D. children)

The opening of the Houghton Feast Funfair will be opened for invited children and carers from local special educational needs and disability schools who will enjoy free rides courtesy of Murphy’s Funfairs. This event was first held in 2001 and celebrates its 19th anniversary which has seen thousands of invited children to the special occasion.

Where? Rectory Field, Dairy Lane. When? Friday, October 4. Entry cost? By invitation only.

Face Painting, Flags & Fun!

Launch of Houghton Feast - The Greatest Show. Houghton Pipe Band.

Stilt-walking flags from the nations of Britain will be entertaining the crowds while face painters and Buddy the Balloon Modeller will be on hand to occupy the children ahead of the main show. All donations from the event will go towards the Houghton Feast Trust.

Where? The Broadway. When? 6pm to 7pm. Entry? Free (donations welcome). Parking? Station Road (93 spaces)

Gavioli Organ

The Gavioli 86 Key Trumpet Barrel Organ, which dates from 1886, will be in operations at intervals throughout the night giving The Broadway and old time musical atmosphere ahead of the grand opening at 7pm.

Where? The Broadway. When? 6pm to 8pm. Entry? Free. Parking? Station Road (93 spaces)

FESTIVAL DAY – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5

Heritage Photograph Exhibitions

Vintage photographs from the collections of Houghton Heritage Society will be exhibited around the town centre and show scenes of Houghton Feast fairgroud’s as well as the town’s pubs, shops, theatres, tramways, sports, schools and more.

Where? There are three venues: Rectory Park railings, Houghton Centre for the Blind and Houghton Methodist Church. When? 10am to 4pm. Entry? Free. Parking? Brinkburn Crescent.

Selfie Spot: Only Fools & Horses Van

A Only Fools & Horses themed selfie point will be on display alongside the Houghton Heritage Society’s photographic exhibition. Take a selfie with the van and make a small donation to the society.

Where? The Broadway. When? 10am to 12.30pm. Entry cost? Free (donations welcome). Parking? Brinkburn Crescent (80 spaces).

Grand Display of Mining Banners

Members of Houghton & Lambton Banner Group will be on hand at the Welfare Hall to share their knowledge about the history of many banners on display there. The Houhgton Banner,, which is the town’s seventh banner and made in 2004 using funds raised by Patricia Simmons and the late George Rowe, will be on display too.

Where? Houghton Welfare Hall. When? 10am to 4pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Brinkburn Crescent (80 spaces).

Art Exhibition

The first day of the three-day exhibition will see local artists’ work on display – artists will be on hand to answer questions and much of the artwork can be bought.

Where? Houghton Methodist Church. When? 10am to 4pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Pottery Yard/Bowlby Street (48 spaces).

Parish Church Craft & Produce Market

There will be a variety of stalls selling crafts and cakes at the market in St Michael’s Church There will be refreshments on offer to enjoy while browsing the bargains on offer and taking in the historic surroundings.

Where? St Michael's Church. When? 10am to 3pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Brinkburn Crescent (80 spaces).

The John Murphy Fairground Model Show

A special exhibition of fairground models named in honour of the late showman John Murphy who supported Houghton Feast for 70 years. On display at the exhibit will be working and static models as well as rare photographs from the Houghton Feast fairgrounds from the collections of the Houghton Heritage Society. Admission is free but donations welcome to cover the room hire cost.

Where? Houghton Centre for the Blind. When? 11am to 3pm. Entry cost? Free (donations welcome). Parking? Burn Promenade (20 spaces).

Gavioli Organ

The Gavioli 86 Key Trumpet Barrel Organ will again be bringing music to The Broadway at intervals throughout the day. The organ is being presented by Michael Houlden whose family has owned if for more than 80 years.

Where? The Broadway. When? 12pm to 4pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Brinkburn Crescent (80 spaces).

The Pipes & Drums – Live!

Houghton-le-Spring Pipe Band, led by pipe major Paul Hamilton, will be performing as the pipers and drummers make their way to the carnival parade starting point.

Where? The Broadway and Newbottle Street. When? 12.30pm to 1.30pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Brinkburn Crescent (80 spaces).

Unity Choir

The choir, led by Rebecca McGarvie aka the Singing Elf, will be performing songs in front of the Old Rectory from the 70s and 80s as part of their pop decades project.

Where? In front of the Old Rectory. When? 1pm to 1.30pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Station Road (93 spaces).

Primary School Dash

Primary schools will compete in the 17th annual road race along Newbottle Street in the hopse of winning a trophy and medals. Show the youngsters your support and cheer them along the course which will end at the St Michael’s Church archway, The Broadway. Schools wishing to take part should contact Houghton Harriers before September 28.

Where? Newbottle Street and The Broadway. When? 1.45pm to 2pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Brinkburn Crescent (80 spaces).

Carnival Parade 2019

Enjoy a colourful community production starring members of the community waving flags, the pipes and drums, classic cars, marching musical bands, Billy Purvis the Clown, Bernard Gilpin and the Wild Boar, the Zazz Dancers, Queen of Eventide, vintage steam vehicles and professional costume characters. The procession starts at the library car park and will travel along Newbottle Street into The Broadway before finishing at the Dairy Lane entrance of Rectory Park. Donations to the 41 club’s official collection will be donated to local charities.

Where? Starting at the library car park and finishing at Rectory Park. When? 2pm. Entry cost? Free (donations welcome). Parking? Brinkburn Crescent (80 spaces).

Classic Car Show

A classic and vintage car show will take place after the carnival parade. Owners will be around to chat about their vehicles and tell the story of their wheels.

Where? Kepier Academy. When? From 2.30pm onward. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Brinkburn Crescent (80 spaces).

The Houghton Feast Open Bowls Final 2019

The final round of the Houghton Feast Open Bowls Tournament will see the winner presented with a trophy by the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun David Snowdon.

Where? Houghton Sports & Wellness Centre. When? 3pm. Entry cost? Free for spectators. Parking? At the venue.

The Houghton Feast Rugby Match 2019

Support the Wild Boars at the Dairy Lane Ground at the special Houghton Feast rugby match sponsored by Houghton’s 41 Club. The clubhouse has full social facilities including a bar, food and TV screens. Houghton 1st team will be playing West Hartlepool TDSOB.

Where? Houghton Rugby Club. When? Kick off 3pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? At the venue.

Houghton Brass Band Concert

Houghton Brass Band will be performing their annual Houghton Feast concert with guest soloists Mark Bousie and Mark Wilkinson of the Foden’s Band. Houghton’s Brass Band was formed in 1983 by local teacher Tom Gibson and has won awards for its performances and has even toured many European countries.

Where? St Michael & All Angels Parish Church. When? 7pm. Entry cost? £5 (concessions £3). Parking? Imperial Buildings (44 spaces)

ABBA 2 Nite – Live!

The ABBA tribute band will be bringing the band's greatest hits to Houghton in a cabaret style venue. A portion of proceeds from this show is kindly being donated to the Houghton Feast Trust.

Where? Zazz Theatre. When? 7.30pm. Entry costs? From £9.50. Parking? Station Road (93 spaces),

FESTIVAL SUNDAY – OCTOBER 6

The Houghton Feast Civic Service

A grand service of thanksgiving for community life will be attended by the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun David Snowdon, Bridget Phillipson, member of parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, and other civic dignitaries and public servants as well as the public. This year’s preacher is John Barron.

Where? St Michael & All Angels Parish Church. When? 10.30am. Entry costs? Free. Parking? Imperial Buildings (44 spaces).

Morning Worship

Reverend Alf Waite will be leading morning worhsip at Houghton Methodist Church. Children can also attended Junior Church where youngsters aged up to 18 play games, make crafts, tell stories and have discussions.

Where? Houghton Methodist Church. When? 10.30am. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Pottery Yard/Bowlby Street (48 spaces)

Community Hymn Singing: Our Favourite Hymns

An evening of ‘Our Favourite Hymns’ and singing organised by St Michael & All Angels Church. The traditional event was established in 1949 by Rev Oswald Noel Gwilliam who was also at the heart of the Houghton Feast Revival in 1967.

Where? Houghton Parish Church. When? 6pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Imperial Buildings (44 spaces).

FESTIVAL MONDAY – OCTOBER 7

Art Exhibition

The second day of Houghton Art Club’s three-day exhibition of local artists’ work. Members will be available for advice and discussion.

Where? Houghton Methodist Church. When? 10am to 4pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Pottery Yard/Bowlby Street (48 spaces).

Roasting the Ox 2019

A roasted ox, which will be prepared overnight by the Rotary Club of Houghton, will be carved by the Mayor of Sunderland Coun David Snowdon at the Rectory Field.The practice of roasting an ox is held in commemoration of Rector Bernard Gilpin who would roast an ox or hog to feed Houghton’s poor in the 16th century. Sandwiches will be on sale from 4pm on the Monday and cost £3.50 each with all proceeds being donated to local charities. Feast-goers are being reminded that the ox sandwiches prove popular every year and do sell out quickly.

Where? The Rectory Field. When? From 4pm. Cost? Sandwiches are £3.50 each. Parking? Imperial Buildings (44 spaces).

Broth & Bun Firework Cafe

Hot broth and freshly baked buns will also be on offer at Bethany Christian Centre, Hetton Road, while you wait for the fireworks spectacular.

Where? Bethany Christian Centre. When? From 6.30pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? At the venue.

The Houghton Feast Fireworks Spectacular 2019

Catherine wheels and comets can be seen from the surrounding area including Dairy lane and higher ground.

Where? Durham Road Playing Fields. When? 7.30pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Station Road & Brinkburn Crescent (173 spaces).

FESTIVAL TUESDAY – OCTOBER 8

Time for Tea – Coffee Morning

Enjoy a friendly chat alongside some hot tea and biscuits.

Where? Houghton Methodist Church. When? 9.30am to 11.30am. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Pottery Yard/Bowlby Street (48 spaces).

Art Exhibition

The final day of the Houghton Art Club’s exhibition.

Where? Houghton Methodist Church. When? 10am to 3pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Pottery Yard/Bowlby Street (48 spaces).

Shoppers’ Service

A ‘pop in’ short service at Houghton Methodist Church.

Where? Houghton Methodist Church. When? 10.30am. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Pottery Yard/Bowlby Street (48 spaces).

The Houghton Feast Variety Show 2019

Zazz will host the 36th annual Houghton Feast Variety Show, featuring many song and dance routines. £1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the Houghton Feast Trust. There is a licensed bar and refreshments available.

Where? Zazz Theatre. When? 7.30pm. Entry cost? £7 each (concessions £6). Parking? Station Road (93 spaces).

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10

Time for Tea – Coffee Morning

Head down for a chat and enjoy hot tea and biscuits.

Where? Houghton Methodist Church. When? 9.30am to 11.30am. Entry costs? Free. Parking? Pottery Yard/Bowlby Street (48 spaces).

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11

Time for Tea – Coffee Morning

Head down for a chat and enjoy hot tea and biscuits.

Where? Houghton Methodist Church. When? 9.30am to 11.30am. Entry costs? Free. Parking? Pottery Yard/Bowlby Street (48 spaces).

The Houghton Feast Wildlife Walk 2019

Explore Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve with Durham Wildlife Trust on a guided walk with one of their rangers.

Where? Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve. When? 10am. Entry cost? Free (donations welcome). Parking? At the venue.

Charity Night with Jamie Tinkler

Jamie Tinkler is described as a mix of Michael Buble and Olly Murs and has performed all over the UK having appeared on shows such as pop idol and the X Factor. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Houghton War Memorial Bench.

Where? Dubmire Workmens Club, Fencehouses. When? 6.30pm. Entry cost? £5. Parking? At the venue.

Russ Tippins – Live!

Local legend Russ Tippins returns with his guitar for a sing-a-long from acts such as Elo, Led Zepellin and Bowie.

Where? St Michael & All Angels Parish Church. When? 7.30pm. Entry cost? £8. Parking? Imperial Buildings (44 spaces).

THE 2ND SATURDAY – OCTOBER 12

The Houghton Feast Open Golf Competition

Tee times are available from 8am. Entry is £40 for a team of four. Enter at the club’s website or call (0191) 584 1198.

Where? Houghton Golf Course. When? 8am to 2pm. Entry cost? £40 per team. Parking? At the venue.

Billy Purvis – Jester of the North

Billy Purvis the Clown (1784 – 1853) made over thirty visits to the Houghton Feast in his lifetime. Now his story will be told by historian Dave Harker and clown reenactor Paul Lanagan. The event will raise funds for the restoration of Billy’s dilapidated gravestone.

Where? Comrades of the Great War Club, Peartree Place. When? 11am. Entry cost? By retiring donation. Parking? At the venue.

The Houghton Heritage Walk

An illustrated guided walk around Houghton will be led by historian Paul Lanagan and will visit many of Houghton’s historical buildings and locations. Places can be reserved online by emailing info@houghtonlespring.org.uk.

Where? Houghton Town Centre. When? 2pm. Entry costs? £2. Parking? Rectory Park (32 spaces).

Pop & Prosecco with Unity Choir

Learn to sing at a social night with singing elf vocal tutor Rebecca McGarvie. She’ll teach you upbeat hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s with the help of the Unity Choir who will also perform a few songs.

Where? Kepier Hall. When? 7pm to 9.30pm. Entry cost? £7 which includes a glass of prosecco. Parking? Imperial Buildings (44 spaces).

The Houghton Feast Variety Show 2019

Zazz will host the 36th annual Houghton Feast Variety Show, featuring many song and dance routines. £1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the Houghton Feast Trust. There is a licensed bar and refreshments available.

Where? Zazz Theatre. When? 7.30pm. Entry cost? £7 each (concessions £6). Parking? Station Road (93 spaces).

THE HOUGHTON FEAST FINALE - SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13

The Houghton Feast Makers' Market

A community market featuring up to 30 stalls selling all things handmade. Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the Houghton Feast Trust.

Where? Houghton Welfare Hall. When? 10 to 3pm. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Brinkburn Crescent and Station Road (172 spaces).

Morning Worship

Morning worship and junior church led by Peter Walsham.

Where? Houghton Methodist Church. When? 10.30am. Entry cost? Free. Parking? Pottery Yard/Bowlby Street (48 spaces).

The Big Houghton Feast Quiz 2019

Rounds will cover general knowledge, sport, music, the news and all the rest – plus a ‘How well do you know Houghton? multi-choice round. The event is raising funds for the Houghton Feast Trust.

Where? Houghton Rugby Club. When? 8pm to 10pm. Entry cost? £2 each (max six people per team). Parking? At the venue.