TODAY the Echo can reveal the line-up of events happening in Sunderland throughout the year.
The Vintage and Retro Festival will return to the Winter Gardens and Mowbray Park in 2014 after the inaugural event, which included a vintage market and rockabilly bands playing in the park’s bandstead, proved to be a big hit last year drawing in around 5,000 people.
Events group Sunderland Live has confirmed the two-day event will return in May as part of a programme which features a blend of new and well-established events on Wearside.
New features include The Color Run, a race in which participants are targeted with paint, which will take place through the streets of the city on July 20.
Entries for the run will open at 9am on February 7.
Chris Alexander, chief operating officer at Sunderland Live, said: “The Vintage and Retro Festival was something we tried for the first time last year and it was a great opportunity to try something new.
“We want to listen to people about what they want us to deliver and we gauged the response to that from the 5,000 who came along last year and through our events forum which gave great feedback.”
Last year’s Summer in the City festival, which featured live music and street entertainment, has been extended to three months this year and is among the highlights.
Chris said: “This is definitely the biggest events calendar we’ve had so far. We haven’t announced all the events for Summer in the City yet, but it will feature all sorts of activities that will appeal to a diverse audience. We want to give the people of Sunderland more choice, while also attracting people from outside of the area to visit the city too.”
He added: “The vast majority of events are free and it’s important to protect that. Events that have a paid for element can generate the income to protect that part of the programme.”
As well as staging their own events, Sunderland Live delivers the council’s annual regular events, including the Sunderland International Airshow, Remembrance Weekend and the Christmas Lights Switch On.
Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council said: “Last year, by creating Sunderland Live we took a new approach to build on the city’s emerging national reputation for events.
“We also gave scope to grow the city’s programme of free, family friendly events while reducing the cost to the council. I think everyone can see the importance of the events programme both to the people of Sunderland and, by attracting visitors to the city, the contribution it makes to the local economy.”
Events taking place in Sunderland
•Farmers Market, February 28 at Market Square
•City Sings, March 9 at Empire Theatre
•Farmers Market, March 28 at Market Square
•Penshaw Bowl, April 17 at Penshaw Hill
•Farmers Market, April 25 at Market Square
•Wearmouth Bridge Zip Wire, May 3-4 at Wearmouth Bridge
•Sunderland City 10k //Half Marathon, May 4 commencing at the Stadium of Light
•Farmers Market, May 23 at Market Square
•One Direction, May 28 at Stadium of Light
–Vintage and Retro Festival May 31 – June 1 in the city centre
•Summer in the City June/July/August in the city centre
•Sunderland Festival, June 13-15 at Herrington Country Park
•North East Live, June 22 at Stadium of Light
•Farmers Market, June 27 at Market Square
•Armed Forces Day, June 28 in the city centre
•The Color Run, July 20
•Farmers Market, July 25 in Market Square
•Sunderland International Airshow July 25-27 at Roker and Seaburn
•4th Field – Exercise of Rights Parade August 3 and 4 in the city centre
•Farmers Market, August 22 in Market Square
•Farmers Market September 26 in Market Square
•Houghton Feast, October 3-12 in Houghton
•Farmers Market, October 24 in Market Square
•Remembrance Weekend, November 8-9 in the city centre
•Christmas Lights Switch On, November 13 in the city centre
•Christmas Programme, November 13 – December 24 in the city centre
•Mayor’s Ball, November 14
•Farmers Market, November 21 in Market Square
•Farmers Market, December 19 in Market Square
•Boxing Day Dip, December 26 in Seaburn
•For more information on events in Sunderland in 2014 visit www.sunderlandlive.co.uk