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Festival bigger and better.

JESMOND Community Festival was launched yesterday with music, burlesque dancers, a stilt walker and even a red carpet.

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Coun Mike Cookson, did the honours, opening the festival at the New Northumbria Hotel on Osborne Road, Jesmond.

The free festival will begin on Saturday at St George's Church, Jesmond, with a parade from St George's Church to West Jesmond School where the grand festival fair will take place.

This is the first year the festival has run for two weeks and there are plenty of attractions in store for the community.

There will be concerts, talks, readings, exhibitions, plays and children's events before the curtain falls on March 28 with Newcastle Cricket Club's open day.

There will also be pizza-making competitions sponsored by Pizza Express, beading competitions and workshops courtesy of LeBeado and a cake baking competition sponsored by Cafe 1901, St George's Terrace.

Coun Cook, who represents a South Gosforth ward, said: "As a Mayor I only get to do things like this once and so it gives me great pleasure to open the festival. I would like to thank South Jesmond and North Jesmond wards for supporting this event. It is tremendous for the community.

"But this year has been a real eye opener. I would like to thank you all for all the work that has gone into the festival."

Many members of the community were looking forward to this year's "bigger and better" festival, with many new attractions in store for all the family.

One resident, Fiona Clarke, of Newbrough Crescent, Jesmond, said: "There is just so much this year. It's grown so much in one year and it's great that the festival will now take place over two weeks instead of one week.

"There is something on every day. There is a huge range of activities for the family and children. The last five years have just got better and better."

Festival organiser Dave Cross, chairman of the Jesmond Community Forum and a resident for 35 years, said: "I am expecting thousands of people turning out for the parade on Saturday. It's like the pied piper when the music starts. You just see all the students coming out of their houses and following the parade."

Saturday's parade starts at St George's at 11am. For full festival details, pick up a pink programme or log on to www.jesmond.uk.net/festival SOME OF THE FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS Grand Festival Fair, West Jesmond Primary School, Tankerville Terrace, Saturday, 12.30-4pm.

Haydn's The Creation, Holy Trinity Church, Churchill Gardens. Saturday, 7.30pm. The Priory Singers.

Family Activity Afternoon in Jesmond Community Orchard, St Andrew's Cemetery, Tankerville Terr. Sun 2-4pm.

Re-style Your Home. Cafe 1901, St George's Terr, Mar 15 & 17, 4-6.30pm. Students will advise on redecorating.

Mozart's Mass in C Minor, Holy Trinity Church. March 16, 7.30pm.

Northern Counties College Open Day, Tankerville Terrace. March 18, 10am to noon and 1.30-3.30pm.

Swing Dance Workshop and Social Dance. The Studio, Jesmond Methodist Ch, St George's Terr. Mar 19, 7-11pm.

Earth Walk through Jesmond Dene and Heaton Park. March 20, 10.30am to 12.30pm. Book via 0191 265 0564.

Quick Comics Workshop, Jesmond Library, St George's Terrace. March 20, 11am to 1pm (7-11s), 2-4pm (12-18s). Book via 0191 278 4215.

Football coaching by Newcastle United Foundation. Bells Yard, Norham Place. Mar 21, 10am to noon.

Newcastle Cricket Club Open Day, Osborne Avenue. Mar 28, noon to 4pm.

CAPTION(S):

WALKING TALL Danny Longlegs gets into his stride for the festival HERE THIS Jesmond Community Festival gets the treatment from town crier Marjorie Dodds
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 11, 2010
Words:602
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