Here are some of our highlights of the year which raised a smile.

10 stories from Sunderland that made us smile this year

If you need something to cheer you up today as 2019 draws to a close, we've got just the thing.

It's easy to get wrapped up in all of the world's negative news, but we thought we'd remind you of the little things that have put a smile on our face throughout 2019. Whether it was a funny grandma with a loud mouth, a score-predicting pig or some of the best dancers in Sunderland, we've got something for you. Take a look at some of the stories which put a smile on our face this year. Here's to the next 12 months.

Everyone knows Dave the Rave - and he was officially crowned the best Mackem dancer of all time by Echo readers earlier in the year.

1. Crowning the best Mackem Dancer

Everyone knows Dave the Rave - and he was officially crowned the best Mackem dancer of all time by Echo readers earlier in the year.
Buy a Photo
Sunderland was voted as the best place to live for under 30s, according to a study. Leeds could only manage runners-up. Much like the '73 FA Cup.

2. Sunderland being better than Leeds

Sunderland was voted as the best place to live for under 30s, according to a study. Leeds could only manage runners-up. Much like the '73 FA Cup.
Buy a Photo
Thousands flocked to see Sunderland's new bridge in the early days of its opening this summer, and it raised a smile to see so much pride in the city.

3. Northern Spire opening

Thousands flocked to see Sunderland's new bridge in the early days of its opening this summer, and it raised a smile to see so much pride in the city.
Buy a Photo
Singer Martin Longstaff crept up the charts with his song Shipyards, the title track to Netflix documentary Sunderland 'Til I Die. Makes us proud!

4. Shipyards by The Lake Poets

Singer Martin Longstaff crept up the charts with his song Shipyards, the title track to Netflix documentary Sunderland 'Til I Die. Makes us proud!
Buy a Photo
View more