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Join us for ‘City of Kittiwakes’, a magical and colourful parade to open the 2024 festival. The project will be created with 150 local residents to celebrate the iconic seabird, which migrates and nests under the Tyne Bridge: the kittiwake. Read on below to find out how to get involved!

Join us for ‘City of Kittiwakes’, a magical and colourful parade to open this years festival. Created with 150 local residents to celebrate the iconic seabird: the kittiwake. A bird which famously nests under the Tyne Bridge and that represents migration, sanctuary and a natural marvel in the heart of Newcastle Gateshead. There will be birds and costumes of every shape and size accompanied by music, including a new original folk song celebrating the kittiwake and our unique city.

Concept / Direction: Kerrin Tatman 

Engagement Lead: Vicky Tate 

Heritage Lead: David Silk 

Folksong Lead & Composer: Jayne Dent 

Illustrator: Becky Musgrove

Lead Artists: Alison Duddle, Chloe Rodham, Jo Feijó, Judith Hope, Rosie Bristow, Will Steele 

Assistant Artists: Bronwyn Riani, Ellie Phillips 

and a HUGE thank you to all of the volunteers and community partners involved in the project!

"Throughout the workshops I learnt new skills, connected with local history and heritage, and by the time the parade arrived, we were all one community working together."

– 2023 parade participant

Get involved!

We are looking for participants who live in the North East of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to work alongside our team of professional artists to create puppets, masks, costumes and large-scale pieces of art. You will also have the opportunity to take part performing inthe parade through Newcastle City Centre. Workshops are free to attend, and run from March 16th to March 29th at the John Marley Centre, with the parade happening on March 30th on Northumberland Street, officially opening Newcastle Puppetry Festival 2024. No prior experience in puppet making or craft is necessary. Travel support provided for those who need it.

  • Individuals who want to get involved: Click the button below and fill out the sign up form

  • Groups who want to get involved: If you are part of a community group or organisations and would like to be involved, please email Vicky at 

Check out last year's parade and workshops:

"Being part of the parade was amazing! It was one of the friendliest and most encouraging events I’ve been to. I absolutely loved the experience."

– 2023 parade participant

A huge thank you to our funders and partners for making City of Kittiwakes possible!

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Image credits: Becky Musgrove; Von Fox Promotions

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