Lighting up the night in Sunderland

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Visitors to Wearside will be stepping into a wonderland of lights by the seaside.

Invited guests were given a sneak peek at the Sunderland Illuminations tonight ahead of the official switch on at the weekend.

They're back! Coun John Kelly is pleased to see the popular illumination back as the dark evenings return.

They're back! Coun John Kelly is pleased to see the popular illumination back as the dark evenings return.

Building on the success of last year’s Roker Park Lights, this year’s event will include several new features along Roker and Seaburn, including the former Seaburn fountain being recreated with lights.

Staff from the famous Blackpool Illuminations have helped bring the Sunderland lights to life and visitors to Roker Park will see Lewis Carroll’s classic tale ‘Alice in Wonderland’ being retold by several larger than life light installations and The Fairy Dell has also returned this year.

Visitors can enjoy the colourful dancing fountains and during October half term there will be a full programme of free craft activities and family entertainment.

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “The displays will not only add to the beauty and atmosphere of the fantastic Roker Park and newly refurbished seafront but will also thrill and excite children of all ages.

“Working with our partners at Sunderland Live the displays are getting bigger and better each year.”

On sale throughout the event will be a special Illuminations booklet, which includes activities and a Hunt the Rabbit trail.

Chris Alexander, chief operating officer at Sunderland Live said: “After seeing Roker Park play host to thousands of visitors last year we always knew that we wanted to make this year’s Sunderland Illuminations even bigger.

“This event has a special place in the hearts of Sunderland’s residents and this year we have made sure that there will be plenty for families not only to see but also to get involved with.”

The illuminations run from Saturday to Sunday, November 2, and Roker Park will stay open every evening until 9pm.