There is a maritime heritage and Tall Ships theme to this year’s annual West Area community celebration event in Barnes Park.

Stilt walking pirates and mermaids will welcome visitors to Barnes Park on Saturday 30 June for the fourth annual West Area community celebration event.

Funded by Sunderland City Council’s West Area Committee to help showcase the creative talent of the local community, the free family fun day focusses on all things tall ships, pirates and sea shanties and is the culmination of the three day event involving all the local nursery, primary and junior schools.

Visitors to the park will enter through the deck of a ship, reflecting this year’s maritime theme, celebrating Sunderland’s history of ship building and looking forward to the city hosting the Tall Ships in July (11 – 14).

The event itself at the end of the month promises a huge range of activities and displays for the whole family to get involved in, and the opportunity for children to explore their own Tall Ships knowledge, and develop their engineering, scientific and creative skills.

Saturday’s family event on 30 June also includes a full programme of live music from the bandstand with everything from choirs and singers, to dance, local groups and seven piece bands.

Chair of the West Area Committee, Councillor Peter Gibson will welcome children on Thursday and Friday to the first two days of the event before the free family fun day on Saturday which opens to the public at 10am.

Councillor Gibson said: “Our annual community celebration event has become increasingly popular, and I hope this year will be the most successful yet.

“This year’s theme based around the Tall Ships has been chosen to inspire children to discover more about our shared maritime, industrial and cultural heritage, and encourage them to develop their own skills and talents.

“There is so much for them to try and take part in. Everything from getting involved in  scientific experiments and building a ship, to  learning sea shanties, drawing a pirate, meccano sculptures and jumping on trampolines.”

Cllr Gibson added: “Everyone visiting this year can also learn more about Sunderland’s amazing history in ship building, with Sunderland Maritime Heritage Society who are bringing their ship to Barnes Park.”

“On Saturday we open the doors to all the family to enjoy, with a full programme of sports, recreation and leisure activities, live music, food stalls and much, much more including a fun fair.”

No car parking is available at Barnes Park for this event, so please use public transport where possible( )