Houghton Feast 2021: When is it and what is happening
Organisers of Houghton Feast are promising lots of family fun as the event returns this year.
After going virtual in 2020, visitors can this year look forward to a full programme of activities, events, and entertainment from Friday 8 to Sunday 17 October, including art exhibitions, car shows and coffee mornings.
The festival will kick off with the official Opening Ceremony in The Broadway at 7pm on Friday, October 8 when entertainment will include Houghton Pipe Band, Zazz dancers, Houghton Area Youth Brass Band, and a choir made up of local school children.
At the end of the night the brand-new Houghton Feast illuminations will be switched on by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Henry Trueman.
The Carnival Parade will take place on Saturday, October 9, starting at the Library car park and finishing at the Dairy Lane entrance to Rectory Park. People are encouraged to come along and watch the parade that will include marching musical bands, Zazz dancers, Billy Purvis the Clown, classic cars, and vintage steam vehicles.
Also returning this year is the Ox Roast, taking place from 3pm on Saturday, October 9. A roasted whole ox, which will be prepared overnight, will be served up in sandwiches in the grounds of the Old Rectory, where the first oxen were roasted by Rector Bernard Gilpin to feed Houghton's poor in the 16th century.
Cllr Kevin Johnston, Chair of Houghton Feast Steering Committee, said: "It is very exciting that Houghton Feast is returning this year. Last year’s 'Houghton Feast at Home' was a successful online festival, but the atmosphere of everyone taking to the streets for the festivities and bringing our community together is what makes this event so spectacular.
"We have ten days full of brilliant activities and performances, and I recommend everyone in the city to come along and see what Houghton has to offer."
Cllr Linda Williams, Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, said: "We are delighted to be able to bring so much entertainment back to the streets of Houghton this year. While we will be having lots of fun, it is also very important to make sure that everyone attending stays safe.
"I would like to remind everyone coming along to stay safe and follow the guidance provided by continuing to wear a face covering indoors, particularly in crowded areas, wash your hands often, meet outdoors when you can, and socially distance where possible."
Find out more about the Houghton Feast at www.mysunderland.co.uk/houghtonfeast
Pre-purchase your sandwiches online at: www.oxsarnies.com