Christmas begins in Sunderland.Christmas begins in Sunderland.
Christmas begins in Sunderland.

39 magical pictures from the Christmas lights switch-on in Sunderland's Keel Square 2023

Christmas has landed

There were magical scenes in Sunderland tonight (Thursday, November 16) as stars of the stage, screen, airwaves and football pitch joined Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Dorothy Trueman, in flipping the switch on Christmas.

The fun started at Keel Square at 5pm, where a host of Disney characters and Christmas elves will be around for photographs, with music provided by a choir.

 Metro Radio’s much-loved Breakfast Show hosts Steve and Karen gave a formal welcome, followed by a performance by characters from the hit movie, Frozen.

Other entertainment throughout the evening included performances by the band Khalysis, a number of Christmas games with goodie bags and prizes on offer plus a special appearance by the cast of this year’s Sunderland Empire pantomime, Beauty and the Beast - including former Emmerdale star Charlie Hardwick.

Sunderland footballers Jay Matete and Aji Alese also appeared to help get Christmas started.

The launch of Christmas was jointly organised by Sunderland BID, Sunderland City Council and supported by Metro Radio.