SLIDESHOW: Sunderland’s Roker Park light show pulls in the crowds

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ROKER Park’s new light show illuminated the night at its premiere on Friday – but do residents think it’s a bright idea?

Visitors to the park gave the return of an old tradition the thumbs-up and agreed reinstating the lights would bring a major benefit to Sunderland’s economy.

Some visitors recall the seaside illuminations before the plug was pulled.

Daphne Milner, 71, of Southwick, said she remembers enjoying the lights as a child, and wishes the illuminations would return.

“I think it’s a good idea. It brought a lot of people here, like the airshow,” she said. “It helps boost the economy in Sunderland.”

John Hudson, 70, of Ryhope, said it would be “a brilliant idea to get the lights back on the seafront around Christmas time”.

Roker Park lights have been reintroduced to see if there is still a public interest in such events.

The crowd at Friday’s opening night suggests there is – but it also raised safety concerns among visitors.

Rachel Wilkinson, 43, was concerned about the number of people attending the event on Friday night: “I think the lights are a good idea, but I wish they had better crowd control,” she said.

“My parents were out with the grandchildren the other night and there was a big crush.”

Val Nichorson, 56, of Fulwell, also expressed concerns about Friday’s crowds, calling it “an absolute fiasco”.

“Why were the gates locked?” she asked.

Despite safety concerns, visitors agreed the show is a good event for the family to enjoy.

“It’s a beautiful park with lots of amenities for children,” said Daphne Milner, who brought her one-year-old granddaughter to the park.

“It’s exciting for the children.”

Rachel Wilkinson agreed the Roker Park lights were good entertainment for the whole family.

“People of my generation will take their children. It’s good for the children but adults enjoy it as well,” she said.