Thousands attend revival of Hetton’s community festival

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS
The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS
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The revival of a community festival, combined with a dragonboat race, proved to be a roaring success.

For the second year running, the Hetton Festival was brought back from the ashes and combined with the Hetton Dragonboat Race at Hetton Lyons Country Park.

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

Bumper crowds of around 5,000 attended the event, which is planned to become an annual highlight of the town’s calendar.

There was plenty of attractions, including the dragonboat race, organised by Rotary North East England, as well as a bar, carnival rides, a go cart grand prix, appearances by the cadets, as well as artisan food and street food stalls with activities also taking place in the Springboard Centre.

Musical entertainment was provided by ‘pit pop’ band Dennis from Hetton, as well as father and son duo Nutopians and Jay Carr.

The combined event is the brainchild of events company Events2gogo who wanted to bring back the community spirit of Hetton Carnival, which ran from the 1970s to the early 2000s.

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

Lee Harnett, from Events2gogo said: “We had even more people come along this year than last year, with crowds of up to 5,000 people. It’s great to look out around the park and just see a sea of people.

“The event seems to be growing each year and we are hoping it will one day become Hetton’s equivalent of the Houghton Feast.”

He added: “There was something for everyone and we had some fantastic acts performing, from bands like Dennis to local dance schools. It was a great family day out and we had people coming from far and wide.”

The winners of the Dragonboat Race were Hartlepool Round Table, with Rotary SR1 Club (Sunderland) named as runners up.

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS

The 2017 Hetton Dragonboat race. Picture: TOM BANKS