Matthew Neville

County Durham towns set to host free festival events to encourage high street activity

Market places in Crook, Ferryhill and Durham City will become hubs of festival activity as part of a series of free events across County Durham.

Durham County Council is putting together free festival-style events across the county’s main towns throughout March, as part of a bid to get people visiting and “enjoying their high streets”.

Each weekend of the month will see activities descend upon a different town centre, where attendees can enjoy a variety of entertainment including circus performances and workshops, walkabout acts, face painting, and craft workshops.

The events support the county’s current bid for UK City of Culture 2025. If successful, the bid will mean more opportunities to bring events to communities across the county. This weekend will see the street festival head to Crook and Ferryhill to entertain visitors and shoppers, following a successful run last weekend at Seaham and Shildon.

Activities will go ahead between 11am and 3pm at Crook Market Place on Saturday March 12 with circus performances and street entertainment such as stilt walkers. There will also be circus workshops, face painting, a climbing wall, and crazy golf.

The festival will then move on to Ferryhill Market Place on Sunday March 13 where from 11am to 3pm people will be able to enjoy more performances, face painting and activities.

On Wednesday March 16, from 4pm to 8pm, Durham City Market Place will also come to life with circus performers, face painting and street entertainment, running alongside Durham’s regular Full Moon Market.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “After last weekend’s success at Seaham and Shildon, we are delighted to be bringing our street festival to more towns in County Durham. Throughout March, we’re planning to entertain visitors right across the county with free events and activities.

“The street festival will allow us to attract more visitors to our high streets, helping to boost footfall and ensure our towns remain vibrant places to visit. The events also support the county’s current bid for UK City of Culture 2025, which if successful will allow us to bring more cultural activities and opportunities like this to our town centres.”

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