Friday 6th May 2016

Cairn Group Hotels
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THE ANNUAL Jesmond Community Festival was officially launched by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Ian Graham, on Tuesday 3 May at Osborne Road’s 97 & Social gastro food and cocktail bar.

Jesmond’s own town crier led the proceedings and Jesmond Community Festival chairman Dave Cross introduced this year’s programme of shows, walks, open days, food, and discussions, beginning with a parade and fair on Saturday 7 May. The Lord Mayor of Newcastle then declared the celebrations open.

The festival will also play a role in making Jesmond a dementia-friendly place to live and work. Dave said: “Over the last year, we have worked hard to increase awareness of dementia and are delighted that many of this year’s events will support sufferers.”


The line-up includes almost 100 events featuring the likes of heritage tours, live music, international cuisine, family fun days, afternoon tea clubs and a teddy bears’ picnic.

Jesmond Community Festival organiser Chris Murtagh said: “When I first became event manager 11 years ago, the festival ran for two days with half a dozen events. We now have 98 events taking place over three weeks, mainly all free and run by volunteers, with the Festival Parade as the highlight.

“It just keeps growing as more people and organisations want to participate in what we see as being Newcastle’s premier community festival. Its success has been down to the involvement of local people and businesses.”

Performing on the day was Peruvian band APU, described as ‘The Gypsy Kings of the Andes’, hailing from The Sacred Valley near Machu Picchu. A Geordie institution, they are the official Peru Ambassadors to the UK & Ireland and have made numerous TV appearances, as well as performing for the Royal Family.


Also providing entertainment was Kendrick – a stilt-walker, puppeteer, magician and musician from Newcastle’s Magic Circle. Over 80 guests attended including local businesses, members of the public and sponsors of the festival.

Graham Purvis, director at Robson Laidler Accountants and Business Advisors said: “Community and team spirit is at the heart of Robson Laidler and that’s why we are delighted to sponsor the Jesmond Community Festival. The launch event was a fantastic preview of the range of exciting activities available throughout the fortnight.

“With roots going back to the 1920s we have established ourselves within the Jesmond community from our base in Fernwood House, and are a friendly team of accountants, business advisors and financial planners available to help anybody or business with their financial goals.”

Cairn Newcastle marketing manager Amy Harrison said: “It’s been a pleasure to host the launch event for Jesmond Community Festival here at 97 & Social. We’re always looking to partner with initiatives and help to boost the profile of Jesmond as a vibrant leisure destination.”

Jesmond Community Festival runs 6-22 May 2016. To find out more, visit:

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