Stadium of Light to host city’s biggest Diwali celebration

Diwali dancers

Diwali dancers

From Stadium of Light to Festival of Lights - the home of the Black Cats is preparing to host its first Diwali celebration.

The colourful event will, which will feature entertainment and food, will take over the stadium on October 30 and will raise money for SAFC’s charity the Foundation of Light.

It’s the brainchild of Sunderland businessman Umesh Patel who wants to make this the biggest Diwali event the city has ever seen.

“I am very excited to be staging a Diwali festival of this size here in Sunderland, and where better to celebrate the Festival of Lights than at the Stadium of Light?,” he said.

“We’ve been working closely with the Stadium of Light to look at how we can stage the best event possible and we have lined up what we believe will be a fantastic event.

“Diwali is a very important date on the Hindu calendar and we are going to create the perfect celebration night here in Sunderland in what we hope will become an annual event for the city.”

Guests will be treated to entertainment by Bollywood dancers and then get the chance to hit the dancefloor themselves with an Indian Bollywood DJ. There will also be a Henna Corner for the ladies and a fireworks display.

For foodies there will be a Chaat counter, street food carts and a Grand Diwali buffet set to feature everything from curries and rice dishes to salads and poppadums.

There will also be a dessert bar and a selection of Diwali-themed drinks on offer.

Gary Hutchinson, commercial director at Sunderland AFC, said: “This will be a first Diwali event we’ve hosted on such a large scale and we’re very excited about celebrating this very important occasion here at the Stadium of Light.

“Mr Patel and his team have been working very hard behind the scenes to make sure this is the best Diwali Sunderland has ever seen and we look forward to welcoming our guests to what we are sure will be a huge social occasion.”

Diwali is a five-day Festival of Lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and coincides with Hindu New Year to celebrate new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.

The actual day of Diwali is traditionally celebrated on the festival’s third day, which this year falls on falls on Sunday, October 30.

•Tickets for the Grand Diwali Celebrations at the Stadium of Light cost £75 per person and are available by calling 0871 911 1555 or email conf&banq@safc.com