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Circus acts and crazy golf to tour County Durham towns

Published March 10, 2022 9.25am

Market places in Crook, Ferryhill and Durham City will become hubs of festival activity as part of a series of free events across County Durham.

Street festival Seaham

The street festival at Seaham

We are putting together free festival-style events across the county's main towns throughout March, as part of a bid to get people visiting and enjoying their high streets.

Each weekend of the month will see fun activities descend upon a different town centre, where people can enjoy a variety of entertainment including circus performances and workshops, walkabout acts, face painting and craft workshops.

The events support the county's current bid for UK City of Culture 2025. If successful, the bid will mean more opportunities to bring exciting events to communities across the county.

Next stop on tour

This weekend will see the street festival head to Crook and Ferryhill to entertain visitors and shoppers, following a successful run last weekend at Seaham and Shildon.

Activities will go ahead between 11am and 3pm at Crook Market Place on Saturday 12 March with circus performances and street entertainment such as stilt walkers.

There will also be circus workshops for people to take part in, as well as face painting, a climbing wall and crazy golf.

The festival will then move on to Ferryhill Market Place on Sunday 13 March where from 11am to 3pm people will be able to enjoy more performances, face painting and activities.

On Wednesday 16 March, from 4pm to 8pm, Durham City Market Place will also come to life with circus performers, face painting and street entertainment, running alongside Durham's regular Full Moon Market.

Upcoming towns

The street festival will continue across the county's main towns throughout March, with the remaining events to take place on:

  • Saturday 19 March, 11am to 3pm - Stanley Front Street
  • Sunday 20 March, 11am to 3pm - Middle Street, Consett
  • Friday 25 March, 4.30pm to 8.30pm - Bishop Auckland Market Place
  • Saturday 26 March, 11am to 3pm - Chester-le-Street Market Place
  • Sunday 27 March, 11am to 3pm - Scar Top, Barnard Castle

Welcome back

The events have been organised with money from the Welcome Back Fund (WBF) which was established by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The department invited councils to apply for grants to stage events to support the safe return of people to high streets following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The WBF builds on the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, which was allocated to councils in 2020 to put in place additional measures to create and promote a safe environment for local trade and tourism, particularly in high streets as their economies reopen.

As a requirement of the funding, the street festival entertainment must take place before 31 March.

Boost to high streets

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: "After last weekend's success at Seaham and Shildon, we are delighted to be bringing our street festival to more towns in County Durham. Throughout March, we're planning to entertain visitors right across the county with free events and activities.

"The street festival will allow us to attract more visitors to our high streets, helping to boost footfall and ensure our towns remain vibrant places to visit. The events also support the county's current bid for UK City of Culture 2025, which if successful will allow us to bring more cultural activities and opportunities like this to our town centres."