Christmas in South Tyneside

Posted by: Press team on 12 November 2020 11:43

Families in South Tyneside are in for a festive treat as the Borough gears up for an alternative celebration of Christmas this year.

South Tyneside Council is pulling out all the stops to make the 2020 festive season unique and special as key events take a virtual turn this year. These include the hugely popular Christmas Lights Switch Ons and the traditional Christmas Carol Concert.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick said: "Christmas is a wonderful time of year when families and friends celebrate and have fun. Although this one will undoubtedly be a different experience, we are still determined to make it magical and memorable.

"The ongoing pandemic has given us the chance to create something unique this year as we look at alternative ways to bring the magic and excitement of Christmas to South Tyneside.

"We still plan to have the festive lights and trees in place ready for the countdown. We just won't have any of the usual fanfare of live music and staged public events that would normally draw in crowds, with some of our key Christmas events going digital this year.

"We really hope that people will join us for our virtual celebrations. It's the perfect opportunity to gather the family, wear Christmas jumpers and enjoy our Christmas events safely from the comfort of their homes. They are sure to capture the hearts of all those who tune in and help to get people into the festive spirit."

Local residents are invited to join the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside and the Customs House panto characters on a unique online adventure, as the Borough marks the start of the festive season with a Virtual Christmas Lights Switch On.

See them enlist the help of Santa on their journey to spread magic and light across South Tyneside in this festive and funny pre-recorded tale being screened online on Saturday 21 November, at 7pm.

A special South Tyneside Virtual Christmas Carol Concert will be shown on Monday 14 December, at 7pm. This wonderful pre-recorded film, compered by Ray Spencer MBE, will feature a selection of seasonal songs and Christmas carols showcasing the vocal talents of school children from across the Borough.

The films will be streamed on the Council's You Tube channel and accessed through the Council's website and social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. They will be available to view throughout the festive season.

During December, The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, will be encouraging families to get involved in a wide range of activities at home as part of its digital Christmas Advent Countdown. A new activity will be released each day, ranging from word searches, quizzes and crafts to creative writing challenges.

South Tyneside libraries are also live streaming storytelling for younger children over social media every Thursday in the run up to Christmas. There will also be craft activities for children to enjoy throughout December.

Like many events across the UK, large scale celebrations and festivities have been stood down this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions in place to limit the spread of the virus. This has led to the cancellation of the traditional public switch-on events in South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn town centres as well as the popular Camel Parade.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "This year has certainly been very challenging for everyone.

"As 2020 draws to a close, we are even more determined to celebrate Christmas and bring joy to South Tyneside families over the festive season. Public safety must be our absolute priority so we have adapted our Christmas highlights where we can so that we can still give families a wonderful festive experience, working within the restrictions to keep people safe."

To ensure South Tyneside is looking fabulous for the festive season and ready for the Virtual Switch On event, the Borough's lighting installation programme is well underway. This sees the Council working with its street lighting partners Balfour Beatty to test, repair and put up motifs, displays, garlands and trees across the Borough.

Keep checking the Council's website at for further details of Christmas in South Tyneside. Alternatively, follow on social media at and Twitter @stynesideevents

For more details of online activities at The Word visit or follow at and Twitter @TheWord_uk  Follow South Tyneside libraries at and Twitter @SouthTyneLibs 

Last modified: 28 September 2021 11:45