Sparkling events attract thousands to Sunderland fireworks displays

Ashbrooke Sports Club fireworks display lights the skies.

Ashbrooke Sports Club fireworks display lights the skies.

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The grand finale of Sunderland Illuminations lit up the sky as organisers celebrated welcoming more than 300,000 visitors to the festival.

The seafront display at 9.30pm followed on from Ashbrooke Sports Club’s event, which helps generate vital funds to keep the venue running.

The big wheel has been a draw for visitors on Sunderland's seafront during the city's illuminations.

The big wheel has been a draw for visitors on Sunderland's seafront during the city's illuminations.

Its organisers have apologised after its display was delayed for more than half an hour after today’s downpour caused water to leak into the electrics set up to spark off the show from its pitches.

The Roker Pier show helped conclude this year’s pirate-themed illuminations, which have been staged at Cliff Park and Roker Park since September 24.

They have drawn in an extra 4,000 people on last year’s visitor numbers.

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for public health, wellness and culture, said: “I’m delighted to say that reported figures indicate that visitors are well up on previous years.

We should all be very proud that our city continues to deliver such a fantastic, family friendly event for residents and visitors alike.

Councillor John Kelly

“It has been great to see so many people coming along to enjoy the lighting displays, funfairs and of course the magnificent observation wheel.

“We should all be very proud that our city continues to deliver such a fantastic, family friendly event for residents and visitors alike.
“Local businesses along the seafront have also seen a massive boost, which is a huge benefit to hosting large events like this one.”

Delivered on behalf of the council by event management company Sunderland Live, visitor numbers have doubled in the last two years from almost 150,000 joining in the fun in 2014 to 300,000 this year.

More than 3km of lighting with 250,000 LED lights and dozens of illuminated installations were used to bring magic to the city’s award-winning seafront between Roker and Seaburn.

Ashbrooke Sports Club’s bosses are still totting up how many people attended its show, which was hit by a technical hold up while the crowd faced bitter conditions.

A spokesman said: “We would like to offer our sincere apologies for the delay in starting the display and would like to thank everybody in the audience for their patience.

“The reason why there was a delay was down to the exceptional inclement weather during the day, which resulted in water getting into the electrics.

“Members of staff were able to set off the display manually.”

The club has run the November 5 celebrations for more than 15 years.