UK – 40.000 turn out at Newcastle’s New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival
The streets of Newcastle were packed this New Year’s Eve as 40.000 revellers gathered to experience Walk the Plank and NewcastleGateshead initiative’s magical seasonal spectacle: the Winter Carnival.
Crowds gathered to see Thor on his fire-breathing Viking long ship, meet the Black Elves, and to catch a glimpse of Heimdall on his white stallion leaping over the Rainbow Bridge. This year’s Nordic theme celebrated the North East’s Viking past with a procession mixing Norse mythologies and Viking folklore with local traditions. This included the Kingsmen, doing their morris dance with fire and two clog dancers from The Demon Barbers, dancing on barrels of fire.
Walk the Plank have worked with NewcastleGateshead initiative for the past five years to create and deliver this annual event, collaborating with local artists and companies. This year Bravura, The World Beaters, Richard Broderick, Emma McGurrell, and Newcastle’s Kingsmen were among the list of collaborators. An extensive community engagement project allowed around 250 local residents and participants to take starring roles in the evening’s entertainment.
Walk the Plank Cofounder and Event Producer Liz Pugh, commented: “The carnival has grown year on year, and it was fantastic to see the community bring the amazing costumes to life on the streets of the city. Brilliant to think that Newcastle’s Winter Carnival can begin to rival those of Rio and the Caribbean”.
Community Participant Isabel Forrest said: “We’re already thinking ahead to 2012 and how we can commemorate what will be a landmark year for Great Britain as we prepare to welcome the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games“.
Carol Bell, head of culture and major events at NewcastleGateshead initiative added: “A huge thank you must go to the hundreds of volunteers, teams of community groups and the event producers, Walk the Plank, who all helped make NewcastleGateshead’s New Year’s Eve celebrations one of the best yet.”