Illuminations have returned to Roker Park.
From tomorrow, a rainbow of colour will light up the night sky at the seafront.
Roker Park Lights, which hark back to Sunderland’s celebrated illuminations, switch on at 5pm.
This year’s lights, which have an Alice in Wonderland theme, will shine brightly every evening from 5pm to 9pm for the next three weeks with extra activities for families on weekends and are a step towards the return of the annual illuminations.
They follow on from the launch of a similar show last year, which attracted 30,000 visitors during its run.
But since the plug was pulled on the seafront’s winter attraction, many campaigns have been held to bring back the displays.
Councillor John Kelly, who is responsible for culture in the city, said: “There is definitely an appetite there for the illuminations, the problem is that we are in a time of real austerity.
“It’s a balancing act of what we can spend and the desire of the public who want free events that make them feel good.”
A giant Cheshire Cat, White Rabbit and a light display in the boating lake are just some of the attractions in the display.
Coun Kelly said: “I think the new exhibits are really good and that children will love them.
“They are quite different to what we had last year, but last year was a test to see if people still had interest in the illuminations.
“We’ve taken on board what people said and invested in something that we hope will make people feel better at a terrible time of year.
“It’s something we want to try and grow every year, given the resources we have, we have to build it up gradually.”
Visitors will get the chance to meet and greet characters from the famous Lewis Carroll novel on Saturdays and storytelling will take place in the The Bandstand on Sundays. From Saturday, October 19, tea cup and saucer lantern making will also be available in the Bowling Club between 5pm and 9pm on weekends. There will also be a special Cheshire Cat trail.
l Roker Park Lights, which are free, run every night from 5pm to 9pm from today until November 3. For more details, visit www.sunderlandlive.co.uk.