Transformers’ Optimus Prime truck driving into Sunderland Airshow

Crowds enjoying the sunshine and spectacle.'24th Sunderland International Airshow, 2012'24th Sunderland International Airshow, 2012''Picture taken Saturday 21st July 2012

Crowds enjoying the sunshine and spectacle.'24th Sunderland International Airshow, 2012'24th Sunderland International Airshow, 2012''Picture taken Saturday 21st July 2012

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AIRSHOW organisers are promising a feast of fun on the ground as well as in the air this weekend.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to the seafront for the show, which kicks off on Friday night.

Along with a top-class flight programme there will be fairgrounds, inflatables, flight simulators and even video game favourite Mario and Transformer Optimus Prime are getting in on the fun.

Chris Alexander, chief operating officer of Sunderland Live, which is organising the airshow on behalf of Sunderland Council, said: “This year the team at Sunderland Live have been pulling out the stops to make sure there is something for everyone.

“Our aim is to deliver a fantastic weekend of fun and entertainment, both in the air and on the ground.

“We have worked closely with exhibitors and attractions from live music, traders and fairgrounds to charities, flying displays and fireworks.

“This promises to be a great weekend that caters for all.”

This year, to help celebrate 25 years of the airshow, there will be a host of attractions in Recreation Park, including the Nintendo 3DS Festival of Fun, where visitors can play with family and friends and win prizes.

There will also be the chance to get up close and personal with Nintendo’s newest home console the Wii U in the Wii U Den, where staff will be on hand to give demonstrations and answer questions.

And celebrating the launch of the new Transformers Prime Beast Hunters, the Optimus Prime truck is making a stop on its UK tour.

Fans can choose their side, and take the opportunity to have a customisable picture taken with Optimus Prime and the new Beast Hunters against a green 
screen.

There will be entertainment for the whole family in Roker Park, with songs and stories, crazy mini-golf, model railway rides and even a traditional Punch and Judy show.

Airshow Director Sue Stanhope said: “Many of the activities across the weekend are free to everyone, with some others asking for a fee or donation.

“We have worked closely with the organisers to give everyone the opportunity to have a great weekend without breaking the bank.”

There will also be the opportunity for spectators to meet some of the pilots, either at their own stands or at the military villages on Cliffe Park.