Thousands enjoy Newcastle New Year's Eve parade

Hundreds of performers featured in the parade

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Thousands of people packed into Newcastle city centre to bid a colourful farewell to 2012.

The New Year's Eve Winter Carnival saw a parade inspired by Norse and Viking stories and North East traditions.

Hundreds of people took part in the parade watched by crowds along the route from Monument to the Civic Centre where a firework display was held.

The event was being followed by a midnight firework display on Tyneside's quayside.

The free early evening parade included musicians, dancers and performers. Among the sights were illuminated drummers and a flaming Viking Longship.

People of all ages enjoyed the spectacular display.

It is the first time in 10 years for the midnight display, which has been funded by a local business.

Newcastle City Council took the decision to scrap the event after the 2003 display was heavily disrupted by weather.

Carol Bell, from the Newcastle-Gateshead Initiative, said: "We all recognise we're facing challenging economic times and the council does invest in New Year's Eve, this is out of the current budget... but the council investment is not going towards the midnight event.

"I think we're being sensitive in relation to budgets and we've been fortunate to get a business sponsor who is covering the cost of the fireworks."

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