Organised by both the centre and Sunderland BID, adults and youngsters took part in the 1k fun run around the Bridges on Sunday, December 5 – all while raising money for the Foundation of Light and the Red Sky Foundation.
Sunderland BID chief executive, Sharon Appleby, expressed her delight in the return of the event, which was cancelled last year due to Covid, and hopes that it will get families to remain in Sunderland city centre.
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She said: “I’m so delighted that we’ve managed to bring it back, it’s got such a lovely atmosphere and it is just really great to see all the families coming in and interacting with it.
"Everybody just seems really happy so it is so brilliant to be back today.
"It obviously makes people very happy but what it does do from a business point for the city is that by the time the event finishes, the shops are open so we hope that people will stay.
"We’ve obviously got the ice rink and the Winter Funderland Fair as well so we hope that people will spend some time while they are here and for businesses it is massive because it helps us keep people here.
Speaking before the race, Karen Eve, the Centre Director at the Bridges commented: “The Reindeer Dash will be a great way for people to get into the Christmas spiri.
“And we hope that once they’ve participated in the run that families will stay around and visit our Santa’s Grotto – once they’ve got their breath back of course!”
The Reindeer Dash was just one of many Christmas activities taking part in Sunderland city centre this festive season.
Other attractions include the Winter Funderland fair and Alpine Village on the old Crowtree site as well as the return of the ice rink to Keel Square.