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Hundreds of visitors return to Hetton Lyons Country Park for the Hetton Carnival after two years of cancellations due to Covid-19

Hetton Carnival welcomed back visitors for the first time in two years with Puffing Billy trips, rides and heritage experiences.

Saturday, 18th June 2022, 6:30 pm

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The two-day event, which began on today Saturday, June 18, and runs until tomorrow, Sunday, June 19, was brought back to the park by previous organisers of the festival, Events2gogo, hosts Springboard and Carnival Rides UK after the Covid-19 pandemic saw the event cancelled two years in a row.

Organiser Fiona Harnett said: “It’s been absolutely wonderful, and from start to finish it’s a very well supported, well-loved event that we’re pleased to have back.

Hetton Carnival, in Hetton Country Park, on Saturday.

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"The whole community gets involved and it’s so nice to see children enjoying themselves, getting their faces painted and people out shopping supporting North East traders and tasty food.

"We’ve got all the different groups involved, we’ve got the scouts, the cadets, different charities. There’s so much going on and to have Hetton Colliery railway here today has been wonderful.”

This year, Hetton Colliery Railway were in attendance to mark the bicentenary of Hetton Colliery Railway, designed by George Stephenson and opened in 1822, which was an internationally important development in the early history of railways.

More than 40 businesses and charities also attended the carnival with gift stalls, food and drinks.

Crowds at Hetton Carnival in Hetton Country park, on Saturday.

A Learning Tent with 3D Printing, E Learning Platform and a flag and banner making session were held by heritage partners, Pit Pony Experience, Blacksmith and Proggy Matting Demos (traditional craftsmanship cemonstration) while the Hetton Story and mining memorabilia were also on offer.

Springboard, who manage the Green Flag Country Park on behalf of Sunderland City Council, provided canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding on the lake alongside a family funfair with carnival rides.

And not forgetting the welcome return of Puffing Billy which delivered mini trips around the southern part of the main lake with its carriages in tow.

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All the fun of the fair at Hetton Carnival in Hetton Country park, on Saturday.

The fun continues into tomorrow (Sunday, June 18) where up to 50 retro cars will be on display from the 80s-90s Car Culture N.E. Plus, TnT dance and performing arts will be on show from 12 noon.

Admission to the carnival is free with secure managed parking offered at £2 - with donations going to the Friends of Hetton Lyons Country Park and Springboard to aid the upkeep and new additions to the park.

Steam enthusiast at Hetton Carnival, in Hetton Country Park, on Saturday.