Hundreds gather for the Houghton Feast 2019 Opening Ceremony

Hundreds of locals came together as the annual Houghton Feast began.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 8:25 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th October 2019, 1:52 pm

On the evening of Friday, October 4, hundreds flocked to Houghton’s The Broadway and Rectory Park for the popular, annual Houghton Feast.

Despite a slight hitch where organisers were unable to stop the bells from ringing at St Michael and All Angels' Church on time to begin proceedings, the live performances were enjoyed by all.

Crowds were treated to marching drummers and stilt-walkers at The Broadway to begin what is set to be another amazing community event.

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Houghton Pipe Band performed at the launch of Houghton Feast.

Colourful flags made by local school children decorated the area as in turn, 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-le-Spring 2019 singing contest entertained on the outdoor stage for free.

Shortly after, the Houghton Feast illuminations were switched on by The Right Worshipful, The Mayor of Sunderland Councillor David Snowdon.

Meanwhile, those who fancied staying a bit longer headed to Rectory Park for tonnes of rides and food stalls.

Plenty of families came along to see what’s on offer.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland Coun. David Snowdon and Coun. Dianne Snowdon switched on the Houghton Feast lights.

Lisa Whitfield, 30, came with her daughter, sister and two nephews. She said: “This is my first time here this year as we’ve just moved to Houghton from Washington.

“I’m just looking forward to a family and community get together. I know there’s a lot of heritage to it and I think the young children will enjoy it.”

Linda Lambert, 66, came along with her husband and her granddaughter, Hannah, 8. She said: “We come here every year and we’ve never missed one as we’re born and bred in Houghton.

“We just want our granddaughter to enjoy it across the weekend as we only live around the corner.”

Houghton Feast Childrens Choir sang at the launch.

Valerie Hannah, 61, sat at The Broadway to enjoy the community show. She said: “My granddaughter is singing at the church for the school so I’ve came along to support her.

“We’re a bit old for the rides now but I think the opening is going really great and there’s plenty happening.”

Stilt-walkers towered over the crowds.