USA coming to the Wear

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A SLICE of American life will take over Wearside this summer with the launch of the first ever Sunderland Festival.

Harley Davidson’s will roar into the city in July to get the event officially under way.

Wild West reenactors are due to take over a school tomorrow for the launch of the festival, which is set to become an annual event.

The four-day Americana-themed extravaganza, running from July 1 to July 4, is being launched by Sunderland City Council.

A calendar of events will be unveiled including music, entertainment, and activities at different venues across the city. There will be a different theme each year.

The festival launch is taking place at Holley Park Primary in Oxclose, Washington.

Members of the school choir, who recently took to the stage at the Sunderland Empire to perform in City Sings USA, will take part in the day, with pupils dressed as cowboys, native Americans and even cartoon characters joining in the fun.

A council spokesman said: “The city council’s inaugural Sunderland Festival celebrates all things American culminating with a flag raising ceremony at Washington Old Hall on Independence Day – July 4 – marking the area’s historic and cultural links with the USA.

“People attending any of the four days of events can expect all things American from classic American car displays, fun fair rides and American football to cheerleading, music and dance performed by local schools and community groups and American cuisine with family and professional kite-flying.”

Events for the festival will take place at venues across the city including:

l The Northern Area Playing Fields

l Washington Arts Centre

l Sunniside Gardens

l Washington Old Hall

l Roker

l Herrington Country Park which will host a Drive-In movie.

Geoff Wilson, 38, of Penshaw said: “We’re all looking forward to the drive-in movie at Herrington, we’re just waiting to hear what film they’re going to show.”

More details of the Sunderland Festival will appear on as events and attractions become finalised.

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