SUNDERLAND is set to shine as a lights spectacular comes to the city.
The Sunderland Illuminations will light up Roker and Seaburn from Saturday, September 27, until Sunday, November 2.
Although not on the same scale as the old illuminations, organisers are expecting them to bring in tens of thousands of visitors, giving the city economy a massive boost.
More than 40,000 people flocked to the Roker Lights last year, which lit up Roker Park for three weeks.
This year’s illuminations will run for five weeks and will see the sparkle spread to include several new locations along the newly-refurbished Roker and Seaburn seafront.
Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture said “Following on from the great success of last year’s Roker Park Lights, this year families will have even more to see and do.
“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.
“I’m really looking forward to what promises to be a great event, and I encourage everyone to come along and make the most of this fantastic opportunity for a free family fun evening by the seaside.”
Visitors to Roker Park will see Lewis Carroll’s tale Alice in Wonderland being retold by larger-than-life light installations, depicting classic scenes and characters from the 19th century novel.
The characters will come to life every weekend to tell stories and help visitors explore the park’s magical spaces.
Families will also have the chance to enjoy the colourful dancing fountains that have grown in numbers since last year and will perform to a range of music and light displays.
During the October half-term, a full programme of free craft activities and family entertainment will take place every day for families to enjoy.
Conservative councillor George Howe, who represents Fulwell, said: “It’s about time we got illuminations back down at the seafront, so I’m all for it.
“It’s a great idea and I think it will enhance the seafront area over the winter period.
“The traders there should benefit from it too. I’m really looking forward to it.”
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.”
Roker Park will stay open every evening until 9pm.
What will be on:
Full details of the light installations and events are still to be confirmed.
So far Sunderland Live has announced the following:
•A return of the 2013 light installations telling the story of “Alice in Wonderland,” depicting classic scenes and characters from the 19th century novel.
•The lights, music and “dancing fountains” in the Fairy Dell.
•A week-long programme of free craft activities and family entertainment during the October half term