TONIGHT’S the night when Wearside’s elite get their moment in the spotlight.
We are all ready to honour the finest people in our community when they pick up trophies at a glittering finale to the Best of Wearside awards at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.
After almost a month of searching for contenders, we ended up with a fantastic field of entrants and that’s thanks to Echo readers who put forward names by the score.
Then, the awards judges narrowed down the field to a superbly strong shortlist.
And now, all that is left to do is to crown this year’s champions in categories ranging from local hero to green champion, and student of the year to community group.
And watch out too for our winners of the community champion, safer community and community project categories.
There’s a lot of people to thank for making this a fantastic year for the Best of Wearside competition including our sponsors Gentoo, Calsonic Kansei, Martinos and Vantec.
There’s the many people who took the time to put in nominations for their favourites. And, of course, there’s the awards contenders themselves who have made such a difference to the communities they serve.
Gavin Foster. managing editor Johnston Press North East, who was on the judging panel, said: “Tonight is going to be a great night and everyone involved is looking forward to honouring the fantastic folk of Wearside.”
How to follow tonight’s results
We will be reporting the progress of the competition tonight with a team of reporters, photographers and digital specialists there.
Watch out for coverage on the night through Twitter @sunderlandecho and by using #echobest.
We will also bring you a full report of the events online later tonight.
And make sure you continue to buy the Echo to get your pullout supplement with more photographs, interviews and reaction from all of the winners. That’s on the way in the days to come.
Well done to everyone who was nominated for this year’s Best of Wearside competition. You deserve your moment of recognition.
And get ready for a great night which is sure to be filled with high emotion.