CREATIVE CHILDREN WILL BE FLYING the flag for this year’s Houghton Feast (4-13 October).

As part of the preparation for this hugely popular annual, community celebration event, pupils at local schools have been asked to work with an artist to design and make ‘wish flags’ which will be paraded at the opening ceremony on Friday 4th October 7 – 7.50pm.

One of the schools taking part is Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Primary school in Penshaw, Houghton-le-Spring, where children have been involved in workshops with Infinite Arts who have been commissioned to make flags sharing young people’s hopes and aspirations. The flags will then be shared with the thousands of people expected to attend.

Chair of the Coalfields Area Committee and of the Houghton Feast voluntary steering group, Councillor Anne Lawson said: “Houghton Feast is a fantastic annual event celebrating all that is good about our community, and who better to design and fly the flags symbolising that sense of pride and aspiration than our children.

“The event celebrates our cultural heritage including the traditional ‘roasting of the ox’ which the Rector of Houghton, Bernard Gilpin began as part of the fair in medieval times, but also the musical, creative and sporting talents of today’s generation with something for everyone to enjoy.

“Since we revived this most traditional of events more than fifty years ago it has continued to grow in popularity and size, and its success is all down to the continuing support of local people and the hard work of the community groups and volunteers who work so hard to organise it.”

Those community groups include schools, and Headteacher at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Primary Mrs Barbara Reilly-O’Donnell added: “We are all very proud of Houghton Feast and delighted that children here and across the community have had this opportunity to be directly involved in helping to promote it.”

The ‘Wish flags’ will help decorate The Broadway in Houghton for the opening ceremony for the Houghton Feast 2019 Friday 4 October,7- 7.50pm.

Young local musicians including the winner of this year’s Voice of Houghton competition, Houghton Area Youth Brass Band and the new Houghton Feast Children’s Choir along with dancers from the local Zazz theatre will help entertain the crowds before the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor David Snowdon, switches on the Houghton Feast Illuminations.

This year’s annual community celebration will be the usual winning combination of music, sporting competitions, fairground, fireworks, carnival parade, art and photography exhibitions, cultural heritage celebrations and displays at venues across the community – including the famous roasting of Ox !

The year’s Houghton Feast programme of community events/activities includes :
– Houghton Feast Carnival Parade Saturday 5 October

– Grand Display of mining banners Saturday 5 Oct

– Abba2Nite LIVE at the Zizzi Theatre Saturday 5 Oct

– Traditional Ox Roast Monday 7 Oct

– Houghton Feast Fireworks Spectacular Firework Monday 7 Oct

– The Houghton Feast Variety Show Tuesday 8 Oct /Saturday 12 Oct

– Houghton Fairground in Rectory Field for duration of event

– Houghton Feast Open Golf Competition /Rugby Match/Open Bowls Tournaments

– The Big Houghton Feast Quiz 2019 Sunday 13 Oct

For more details of events and activities during the Houghton Feast please visit

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