A GROUP of youngsters are sharing their artistic skills with thousands of people – thanks to The Hoppings.

Before Europe’s biggest travelling fair opened last week at Newcastle’s Town Moor (21 June) organisers launched an art competition, with VIP prizes up for grabs for the best drawings and paintings featuring The Hoppings.

And now the winners have not only enjoyed an amazing experience at the fair – which runs until this Sunday – but their winning artwork is being displayed on banners at the site.

One of the winners, nine-year-old Lydia Gray from Northumberland Park, was delighted that her rainbow coloured Ferris wheel was chosen.

“I was so pleased to win that I did a happy dance and jumped up and down and I was so excited to tell all my friends and my teacher,” she said.

“ I was happy to because other people could see my art and I like it when people I know and people I don’t know see things I’ve created.”

Lydia was able to enjoy a range of treats and free rides as part of her prize and added that “I had the greatest time every at The Hoppings.”

Fellow winner, Bahoz Mohammedamin, also nine, from Felling, used his previous visit to the fair as the inspiration for his entry.

“I was at The Hoppings last year and my painting is my main memory from that experience,” he said.

“I want to continue to improve my drawings and become an artist, drawing makes me happy.

“I was so pleased to be picked as a winner and we had lots of fun.”

Five young people in all have their artwork on banners at the site and were picked from hundreds of entries.

Ryan Crow of Crow Events which organises The Hoppings said the standard had been incredibly high.

“It was extremely difficult to pick just a few because there were so many amazing entries,” he said.

“This was the first year we’ve run this competition but it will be something we will definitely repeat.

“The amount of talent from youngsters of all ages just blew us all away and we can’t wait to see what they produce in the future.

“The Hoppings is very much part of the local community and this is one of a number of initiatives which we’ve launched and which we intend to grow to ensure that we continue to develop our strong links with the region and encourage creativity.

“We have also given local performers the chance to showcase their talent on our live music stage and again this is something we want to develop further.”

This year for the first time The Hoppings also had a charity event pre-opening where young people from organisations including NSPCC, St Oswald’s Hospice and the Red Sky Foundation had access to free rides.

“The Hoppings is a really important event in the North East and as organisers we see it as vital to create long lasting relationships with all sections of the local community,” added Ryan.

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