A SEASIDE town’s summer season was launched with a colourful festival parade at the weekend.

Schoolchildren joined by members of community groups, businesses and uniformed organisations hit the streets of South Shields, South Tyneside, in a carnival-style procession of colour and music.

The borough’s annual Mardi Gras-style parade featured a vibrant mix of dancers, musical groups and marching bands.

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The parade and fair kick-started the borough’s free summer festival programme of live music and entertainment, which run to the end of August.

It will feature three free Sunday concerts in Bents Park, starting with girl group B*Witched and X Factor winner Shayne Ward and The Waiters, on July 13, 10cc and UK Rock Legends, on 20 July, and Heather Small, of M People fame, supported by Scarlett Street, on 27 July.

There will also be classical music in South Marine Park bandstand on Saturdays and performances by the best of the region’s brass bands at the park amphitheatre on Sunday afternoons, throughout July and August.

Tickets are now on sale for Sound Waves 2014, at Bents Park, South Shields, on Saturday August 23 August.

The special concert will feature performances by Scottish super group Texas, chart-topping girl group All Saints, Brit award-winning singer/songwriter Gabrielle and South Tyneside’s own rising star, soul singer Lulu James.

Tickets, costing £30 for adults and £20 for ages five to 16, are available from The Customs House, South Shields, via www.customshouse.co.uk, or by ringing the box office, on 0191-454 1234.

More information on the concert and full summer festival programme are available on www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk, the borough’s listing website.