The Stockton International Riverside Festival kicked off in spectacular style last night as it celebrates its 26th year on Teesside.
The event, which continues over the weekend, includes everything from stunning show to small intimate experiences.
It is estimated that the festival boosts the town's economy by more than a million pounds and attracts 70,000 visitors every year.
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They say local churches have already responded and will continue to pray, offer pastoral care and assist those affected.