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Performers and magician set for touring festival events

Published March 23, 2022 8.59am

Families can enjoy free fun activities this weekend in Bishop Auckland, Chester-le-Street and Barnard Castle as touring festivals make their final stop offs at another three locations.

Stanley Festival

A performer at the recent street festival in Stanley.

The activities, which have been organised by us to encourage more people to visit and enjoy their high streets, have been taking place since the beginning of March.

Different towns host the festival each weekend, with residents able to enjoy street entertainment, crazy golf, face painting and circus performances.

The events also support County Durham's bid to be named UK City of Culture 2025. If successful, the bid will mean more opportunities for exciting events to be brought to communities across the county, which has been shortlisted in the final four of the competition.

Excellent turnouts 

Having already visited Seaham, Shildon, Crook, Ferryhill, Durham City, Stanley and Consett, the street festivals will this weekend be moving on to Bishop Auckland, Chester-le-Street and Barnard Castle.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, our Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: "We have seen excellent turnouts for the festival events so far this month and hope that it will be the case again this coming weekend.

"As we continue in our bid to be named UK City of Culture 2025, these festivals showcase the appetite County Durham has for culture among those of all ages. If we are successful, winning the bid will allow for even more activities to be held right across our area."  

From 4.30pm to 8.30pm on Friday 25 March, Bishop Auckland Market Place will be the venue as the festival rolls into town, complete with a fire act from Adam Banach and stilt walkers.

Chester-le-Street Market Place is then hosting the fun on Saturday 26 March from 11am to 3pm and will see Wheelnuts Juggling Unicycle team perform and a climbing wall activity.

And on Sunday 27 March, families can head to Scar Top in Barnard Castle to see the festival, with award-winning magician Paul Dewhurst set to dazzle audiences, and the climbing wall also available.  

Supporting safe return to high streets 

The festivals have been organised with funding 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 local authorities in 2020 to provide additional measures to create and promote a safe environment for local trade and tourism, particularly in high streets as their economies re-open.