Barnes Park hosts the fifth annual West Area community celebration event on June 27/28/29.
The event is funded by Sunderland City Council’s West Area Committee Councillors, and organised to help showcase the creative talent of the local community and involve local schools in education activities based around a different theme every year, with a free family fun day open to all on the Saturday 29 June.
This year’s theme focusses on all things ‘clean and green’ with the Eastern section of the park playing host to local schools on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 June before the free family fun day on Saturday 29 June which is open to all – with Barnes Park open to the public throughout.
A series of marquees, stalls and activities will involve schoolchildren in everything from science and engineering design to learning more about the importance of recycling and protecting the environment and saving energy.
Activities are centre around four characters designed by local artist and illustrator Liz Million to represent Generate, Reuse, Reduce and Recycle.
Over the course of the event children and families will have their chance to name each of the individual characters, with the winning suggestions announced after the event when the banners visit other local schools as part of the environmental education programme.
There’s also the chance for the children to get involved in a full programme of sports, games and fun including an obstacle course, football cages, climbing wall and archery.
On Saturday when parents, families and other children from across the city get their chance to take part, there will also be a full programme of musical entertainment at the Bandstand with a wide choice of refreshments and an on-site fairground which will also be open for paid entry Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings (4 – 7pm).
Chair of the West Area Committee, Councillor Peter Gibson, will welcome children on Thursday and Friday to the first two days of the event before the free family fun day on Saturday which opens to the public at 10am.
Councillor Gibson said: “Our annual community celebration event has become increasingly popular, and I hope this year will be the most successful yet.
“This year’s theme is based around protecting the natural global environment, and working together to improve the local environment in which we all live.
“We want the event to encourage children to learn more about these matters, which concern us all, and inspire them as the future generation to help us create a ‘cleaner, greener’ city and community.”
Cllr Gibson added: “There is so much for them to try and take part in. Everything from getting involved in scientific experiments and story-telling to book illustration, meccano sculptures and a climbing wall.
“On Saturday we open the gates to all the family to enjoy, with a full programme of sports, recreation and leisure activities, live music, food stalls and much, much more including a fun fair.”
Headteacher at Richard Avenue Primary, Mrs Karen Todd said: “Our children really look forward to these events in Barnes Park, which provide great opportunities for outdoor learning on different themes every year.
“We are already studying the environment in class, so all the activities on site will help our pupils with their studies and give them new ways of looking at things.
“Another big feature of course, is all the games and sports activities which they all really enjoy.”
Mrs Todd added: “I’d like to say on behalf of all the local schools. a huge thank you to the West Area Committee for providing us with this wonderful opportunity for our children to learn more about the environment at such an interesting and exciting community event.”
Among the Year Four pupils taking part is Malia, 9, who said: “I’m really looking forward to the event, we do a lot of recycling in school and it’s important to learn more about it.”
Miguel, 9, added: “We all need to think more about recycling and picking up litter.”
Classmate Maria, 9, said: “With the school we’ve been involved with litter picks on the beach, as we all know about the environmental damage cause by plastic in the sea.”
Aaron, 9, added: “This event will really help teach younger children something new about the way they look at things.”
BANDSTAND PROGRAMME FOR SATURDAY 29 JUNE:
10.30am The Bangshees (performance starts at Barnes Park Road entrance)
11am Lisa Clinton School of Dance
11.45am Daniel Curtis
12pm Lindsay Hannon Shindig Choir
12.30pm Kayley Cares
1.30pm Twice Brewed
2pm Sunderland Empire Community Chorus
2.30pm Genfactor Showcase (Riona Sorianosos, Daisy Pringle, India Mason and Tahnee Kelly)
3.30pm Lambton StreetZ Street Dance Project
4pm Sunderland Jubilate and Northern Youth Choir
4.20pm Sunderland College (Allysa Pentolfe, Erin Edwards, Brandon Stewart & Charlotte Thomson and Olivia Glover)
No parking on site, please use public transport wherever possible