They're always a highlight of the switch-on events every year, with pupils and staff turning out in their own time to take part. Well done everyone!
It was a grim day, but that didn't stop the folk of Sunderland turning out to see the lights switched on. We're made of sterner stuff.
Sign up to our daily newsletter
The i newsletter cut through the noise
The weather didn't dampen people's spirits
She'll be headlining at the Metro Radio Arena the week before Christmas, and gave the crowds a treat at the switch-on
Grange Primary School and Benedict Biscop Church of England Academy both gave performances at the switch-on.
The Empire's pantomime stars are regularly a big part of the switch-on. This year Richard McCourt of Dick and Dom fame and West End star Josh Andrews turned out ahead of the curtain going up on Peter Pan.
Their families must be very proud.
One of Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Lynda Scanlan's chosen charities for her time in office. Collectors were out braving the cold at the switch-on to raise funds to help children who need it. Well done to them, and to those who donated!
With all the music, fireworks and entertainment, it's easy to forget that the switch-on is all about the errr switch-on. Great to see Sunderland legend Mickey Horswill on stage with the mayor and panto stars for the special moment.
This can't help but raise a smile on a bleak November night.