A 'fang-tastic' show as Halloween parade snakes through Sunderland city centre
From pint-sized witches to giant ghouls on stilts, a Halloween parade got Sunderland in the spirit as it snaked its way through the city centre.
Part of the wider Lights Out festival, 400 performers wowed the crowds who lined Fawcett Street and High Street West to see the free half hour spectacle.
The parade, which started at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and finished at the former Crowtree Leisure Centre site, was put together by The Creative Seed, which is based at Carnival House in Southwick, working with community groups young and old.
The Community Interest Community (CIC) has performed at parades around the world and this one featured everything from Day of the Dead performers to stilt walkers and mini witches.
Sharon Appleby from Sunderland BID, who organise the Lights Out Festival, said: “The parade is amazing, it never ceases to amaze me how much effort groups go to with their costumes.
"The Creative Seed are brilliant at encouraging them all, and they have fantastic experience from all over the world. People learn so much from taking part, from working in a team, to design and dance.”
The event has also been supported by Sunderland College and the University of Sunderland along with Arts Council England and the European Regional Development Fund.
The Mackem Monsters are also part of the festival, but due to this week’s bad weather the huge rooftop installations were left deflated on some days.
It’s expected that the six giant inflatables will be waving their tentacles across the weekend, however, should conditions improve.
Various Halloween activities have been taking place across the city centre, including at the ‘haunted grotto’ in The Bridges shopping centre, to give families fun things to do in half term, and help increase footfall for businesses.
Sharon added: “More and more people are taking part in the Lights Out festival each year, and it’s great to see shops decorated for Halloween. It definitely drives footfall and drives spend, which is what we want for businesses, especially after the past year.”
The Lights Out Festival also includes an augmented reality monster trail, supported by Great Annual Savings, which can be accessed for free via the BID’s Sunderland Experience app.