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Markets, fireworks and festive fun: exciting events going ahead in the second half of 2021

01 July 2021

Events are set to return to Stockton-on-Tees for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic first locked down the country in March 2020.

Image of Stockton activities

A packed programme of family-friendly events including specialist markets, themed walks, outdoor music, street theatre and fireworks are set to take centre stage in the second half of 2021.

Old favourites like the Halloween Spooky Walk and Stockton Sparkles will thrill the crowds once again, while some events will have new elements like Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF)'s debut festival village.

Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture, said: "Stockton-on-Tees has such a strong reputation as a hugely popular events destination and we're really looking forward to getting back to business on that front.

"Our events programme provides a rich menu to cater for a wide variety of interests and I'm sure there's a real appetite from residents and visitors from further afield to come and enjoy all that's on offer.

"Whether you've missed attending an event that was unfortunately cancelled during the pandemic or you're thinking about heading to one of our events for the first time, I can say that all are welcome and I hope you have a great time."

Among the highlights of the event calendar for the second half of the year are:

Chic Vintique specialist market - Saturday 3 July and Saturday 2 October

Retro homeware, jewellery, gifts and collectables will all be on offer at the much-loved Chic Vintique on Stockton High Street for two dates this year.

Organised by Louise Lewis Events and supported by the Council, the market boasts quality and quirky goods with something to brighten up every home, wardrobe and bookshelf.

Stockton International Riverside Festival - Thursday 29 July to Sunday 1 August

Held as a digital event in 2020, SIRF will roar back into life this summer to celebrate some of the UK's best artists and performers.

We kick off our event with the launch show 'Bridge' by Imagineers - a fantastic aerial spectacular on Stockton High Street.

The full programme this year contains more than 40 shows across the four days including dance, music, puppetry and street theatre.

Our much-loved SIRF Community Carnival will bring the party on Sunday 1 August as families and communities enjoy a day-long celebration down on Stockton Riverside in a sea of colour and music.

New for this year is SIRF Green offering a wealth of flavours with cakes, cocktails and Korean food tantalising the taste buds in the festival village on the corner of Bishop Street and Thistle Green.

Stockton and Darlington Railway 196th Anniversary - Saturday 25 September

A specialist market will be held in September to commemorate the 196th anniversary of the first passenger railway to use steam trains in 1825.

The marquee will host a range of exhibitions including displays of narrow gauge engines, model railways, information from historic railway enthusiast groups and sellers offering memorabilia and treats to purchase.

Community voices and stories will celebrate 'Memories of a Great Journey' alongside a specially commissioned soundtrack playing throughout Wellington Square.

Halloween Spooky Walk - Sunday 31 October

What better way to mark Halloween this year than some frightening fun at Preston Park Museum and Grounds' Spooky Walk?

The walk runs a few times throughout the day so you can choose just how spooked out you wish to be!

As in previous years, this event is park and ride only and tickets must be booked in advance to avoid disappointment. Details will be announced in due course.

Fireworks - Sunday 7 November

One of the most anticipated occasions in the events calendar, Stockton Riverside's fireworks display draws in crowds by the tens of thousands!

This year's theme is to be confirmed but, as ever, the display will be free to attend and accompanied by popular fairground rides and refreshment stalls.

Stockton Sparkles - Thursday 25 November to Friday 24 December

Kick off your countdown to Christmas in style with the entertainment found at Stockton Sparkles.

The festive fun starts with a bang at the launch-night lights switch-on (Thursday 25 November) including a feel-good vibe, Christmas carols and even a visit from Santa himself!

Full details will be released nearer the time, but you can expect a Christmas-themed market, community events, Mayor's Carol Service and the much-loved Reindeer Parade (Sunday 12 December).