International Friendship Festival

Destination Sunderland > Things to See & Do > International Friendship Festival

Sunderland’s favourite family festival returns to celebrate friendship with individuals and communities from Sunderland and around the world.

The free event takes place at the Northern Area Playing Fields, Washington, from 11am – 5pm.

As well as featuring the popular kite festival, the event plays host to innovative street theatre, exhibitions and international cuisine as well as the colourful sounds of world music.

Infinite Arts will once again deliver an exciting programme of kites and exhibitions, bringing together kite makers and artists from 14 different countries around the world. A total of 39 international kite fliers have confirmed their attendance and will be travelling from as far as USA, Canada, Tasmania, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, India, Sardinia, Holland and the Netherlands to join the celebration.

There will be demonstrations of world class fliers including Heinrich Hohmann from Germany, Alessia Marrocu from Sardinia, Mike Mosman from USA , Robert Trepanier from Canada and Claude and Jose Comallonga from France.



In addition to this, hundreds of kite fliers from the UK will be making their way to Washington to take part in the event.

At 3pm on Sunday, The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Dennis Richardson will be assisted by members of the North East Kite Fliers (our local kite group) to launch The Friendship Kite that symbolises worldwide friendship.The festival has been running since 1986.

With music from community groups, emerging young bands and professional musicians in the music marquee, there?s so much to see over the weekend. Performers will include the Davy Lamp Folk Club, Mas Y Mas, Oxclose Music Project, Hot House Dragons and local schools who have performed in this year’s City Sings choral competition.

Family Activities
Sunderland Libraries will be encouraging families to get involved in this year’s summer reading challenge and take part in Read Regional, which is a national campaign to support writers and publishers in the North East.

There’s plenty to keep young people entertained too with children’s activities including creative workshops, reading, poetry and storytelling in each of the Friendship Festival’s 3 tipis. Craft activities will include a KINEX robot construction and an assault course. Poets of all ages will be able to take to the stage to showcase their own work during the festival’s first poetry slamming competition. North East poets Jeff Price, Alfie Crowe and Radio 4’s Katie Fox will be around to inspire amateur poets. Storyteller Tony Wilson and poet Craig Bradley will run poetry and storytelling sessions for children and their families as part of BBC’s poetry season. Spectators of all ages will have the chance to see some of the world?s best kite makers flying their colourful creations.

Visitors can meet a number of authors in the reading marquee and choose books that have been produced by a range of publishers. There will even be a chill out space, where people can relax and read books before they buy.

With its unique blend of entertainment, there’s plenty to get the whole family involved. So come down and help us celebrate friendship around the world at the Sunderland International Friendship Festival!

Saturday 03 Jul 10 – Sunday 04 Jul 10
11am – 5pm