The Big Event
The Big Event is one of Northumberland's biggest family fun days, and it is organised by Leading Link.
The not-for-profit event, which takes place at Attlee Park in Bedlington, has been running for four years and has seen in excess of 6000 young people, families and other members of the community cross its threshold since its inception in 2012.
Prior to that the event took place under the guise of 'Walk for Water' and the 'FUSION Family Festival' for four years at Druridge Bay Country Park.
The Big Event offers Leading Link the opportunity to showcase its work to the wider community, strengthen relationships with key partners and celebrate the wealth of talent, community spirit and more that exists in Northumberland.
More importantly, The Big Event acts as a platform for the charity's young people to help plan, develop and deliver a 'real' community celebration on a massive stage - from event management, stewarding, fundraising and technical support, it always proves to be the most popular event on the Leading Link calendar.
Over the years, The Big Event has been made possible thanks to immense support, both financial and in-kind, from Northumberland County Council, West Bedlington Town Council, local schools and businesses and organisations such as Northumbrian Water, Phoenix Taxis, Greggs and Warburtons.
In 2013, Leading Link were involved in the transformation of Attlee Park, thanks to £60,000 funding from SITA Trust.
The work has breathed new life into the area and transformed the bandstand, once the home of the Northumberland Miner's Picnic, into a vibrant and colourful performing arts venue, which was officially opened by Ian Lavery MP at The Big Event 3 in 2014.
What is on offer at The Big Event?
The Big Event was originally organised to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, in the form of a street party at The Lodge in Bedlington. In 2013, the event was moved to Attlee Park, the home of the Northumberland Miner's Picnic, to celebrate the culmination of Leading Link's Bedlington Heritage Project.
Like its predecessor at Druridge Bay, the event also plays host to the original Northumberland's Got Talent competition, which has been running for eight years and helps to give the stars of the future their chance to shine on a big stage.
Previous winners of the competition have included BBC Young Dancer 2015 winner Connor Scott, talented local singer Chloe Wealleans-Watts, 'Cat in the Hat' Lucy Conroy and most recently Northumberland Live! winner and swinging sixties star Lewis Hill.
Another popular feature of The Big Event is our enterprise market, which has seen support over the years from businesses including VUE Cinema, Radio Northumberland, Phoenix Taxis, The Salvation Army and Business Northumberland.
Alongside this has been our enterprise competition, which has been run in local schools and encourages the entrepreneurs of the future to have a go at starting their own business. Our most successful winners to date have been Sugarushed Rock in 2013 - they are still operating today and selling their products in Morpeth Chantry, Alnwick Garden and Castle and local Northumberland tourism shops.
There is always something for everyone at The Big Event, including children’s fun fair rides, a sizzling summer BBQ, ice cream, hot donuts and candy floss, as well as street performers and traditional fun fair games including a coconut shy, laser quaser, play your cards right and an inflatable penalty shootout.
For more information, follow The Big Event on Twitter.