A STATESIDE celebration is set to bring the city alive as further details are released for the first annual Sunderland Festival.
The event, which runs from July 1 to 4, will this year celebrate Wearside’s close connections with our Transatlantic cousins.
Classic car displays, a funfair and American football will sit alongside cheerleading, music and dance and Stateside cuisine on the programme.
John Kelly, the senior councillor responsible for culture in Sunderland, said: “We have built on the success of previous events to create a new annual community festival with events and activities going on at different venues across the city.
“To help celebrate our close links with the U.S., we thought what better way to launch the Sunderland Festival than to give it an American theme this year?
“The annual festival will have a real focus on community involvement, and we hope that many schools and voluntary organisations will get involved to share their talents and enthusiasm with us.”
The Sunderland Festival has evolved from the Sunderland International Friendship Festival and will still feature family and professional kite-flying.
Events are taking place at venues across the city, including The Northern Area Playing Fields, Arts Centre Washington, Sunniside Gardens, Washington Old Hall and Roker.
There will be an open-air screening of Grease in Herrington Country Park, and outdoor music events with everything from country and western and American swing to more contemporary music.
The programme will culminate in American Independence Day celebrations at Washington Old Hall on Monday, July 4.
More large-scale entertainment organised by Sunderland City Council takes place at the Sunderland International Airshow on July 29-31 and the Sunderland Folk Festival, from August 27-29.