Weekend promises feast of family fun

Crowds packed the main street in Morpeth during Fair day.
Crowds packed the main street in Morpeth during Fair day.

THERE will be plenty of fun for all the family on offer this Sunday at two annual events.

Rides, music and stalls will feature at Morpeth Fair Day and Ponteland Party in the Park, and the organisers as always are looking for some help from the skies to draw in big crowds.

The fair, organised by the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade, will include the traditional grand parade of classic and vintage cars, Harley Davidson motorbikes and marching bands from Coopies Lane, which will reach the town centre at noon.

There will be a fun run for children of school years eight and below and a fancy dress competition, which is open to children aged nine and under, and the popular Spanish City Fun Fairs will be along at Newmarket.

Visitors can see a chainsaw sculpture and falconry display at High Stanners and they can also enjoy gravity boost trampolines and an army paintball range and climbing wall in the same area.

Market stalls and craft stands will be in abundance, including a continental and Northumberland producers market in Oldgate, and there will also be sideshows, charity tombolas and a Punch & Judy show in Chantry Yard.

Entertaining grappling action from Complete Revolutionary Wrestling is on offer at the Queen’s Head Hotel in Bridge Street during the day, with three local residents on its roster as competitors or trainees.

And there will be performances on the main stage from Pete Dodds and Red Box Band, Morpeth Pipe Band, Wansbeck Colliery Band and Highland dancers. Chairman of the Fair Day organising committee Tony Osborne said: “I think we’ve done very well to put on this amount of entertainment on Sunday given the increases in our overheads and sponsorship staying static.

“At one point we were unsure if it would go ahead, but we managed to do a few good deals and we think the event will be just as good as last year.

“We do need to make a profit to support Morpeth in Bloom and the Christmas lights and as it stands we’re confident that we will do quite well. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for the weather as it’s the main factor to help make Fair Day an extremely successful event.”

Party in the Park is organised by members of St Mary’s Church, St Matthew’s Church, Ponteland Methodist Church and Ponteland United Reformed Church.

On stage will be the Darras Hall First School Choir, North Tyneside Steel Band and Whistling Sheep ceilidh band, while the Ponteland Sparkles cheerleading and dance group will be full of energy.

Other attractions include a fire engine, bouncy castle, face painting, football and other sporting activities and stalls from a range of local groups and larger organisations.

There will also be a barrel organ that has been donated by a local undertakers.

Andy Anderson, a member of the organising committee, said: “We have reduced our entry price this year to £1, and children under five are free, to try to get even more people along to enjoy a fun family afternoon.

“We are crossing our fingers and everything else for the weather. The long term forecast says it won’t be a beautiful sunny day, but it should stay dry. We’re grateful to all our sponsors, in particular Ponteland Town Council and Newcastle Airport.”

The Morpeth Fair Day activities will start at 10am, with registrations for the fun run opening near the Clock Tower from 9.30am. A free park and ride system with vintage buses will run between County Hall and Morpeth Bus Station from 10am.

Ponteland Party in the Park starts at 1.30pm.