Houghton Feast will open with an evening of music, dance and light as the official launch event takes place on Friday 2 October at 6pm.
This year’s event which is delivered by Sunderland Live on behalf of Sunderland City Council, promises to spread some sparkle as it adopts the theme of light for the duration of its ten-day run.
Proceedings will get off to a memorable start by welcoming the Right Worshipful, the Mayor of the City of Sunderland, Councillor Barry Curran to perform the official switch on of Houghton Illuminations.
Cllr Curran said “This fantastic event dates back around 900 years and is an integral part of the community here in Houghton.
It is the community that continues this tradition and I’d like to thank the steering committee and the many volunteers that make this event possible.
This packed 10 day festival truly has something for everyone and I’d encourage everyone to come along and join in the fun.”
The free family event will bring The Broadway to life with a range of face painters and story tale characters. The main stage programme will entertain crowds from 7pm with performances from the traditional Houghton Pipe Band, Zazz Dance Group and many more. School Groups will also wow visitors with their light inspired artwork during the course of the evening.
Councillor Anne Lawson, Chair of Houghton Feast Steering Committee, said: “Visitors can look forward to some interesting features which will illuminate our community celebrations. All the old favourites will be here too, ensuring something for everyone.”
Jessica Regnart of Sunderland Live added: “We are proud to once again be bringing this incredibly popular event to the city.
“With its origins in the 12th century, Houghton Feast is the longest running event on our calendar and its visitors continue to value this chance to celebrate the importance of local heritage’
Monday 5 October sees the 48th annual ox roasting take place. The traditional ox roast honours Bernard Gilpin’s generous act of feeding Houghton’s poor in the sixteenth century. Visitors are invited to enjoy a hot beef sandwich from 4pm before enjoying a breathtaking firework display at 7.30pm.
Including the traditional Saturday parade and resident fairground, the full ten-day programme comprises a host of diverse events delivered by a range of voluntary and community groups.
For further information on the full Houghton Feast programme please visit www.houghtonfeast.co.uk
For further information on this and all other Sunderland Live events please visit www.sunderlandlive.co.uk