All glow for Sunderland's Lights Out Parade as hundreds join in Halloween procession through city streets
The walking dead, witches and ghouls danced on the streets of Sunderland as community groups brought their creations to life in a packed parade.
The event is part of the first ever Lights Out Festival, which has been running throughout the week in the city centre, bringing together family activities, workshops out in the community and the tentacles installation on Mackie’s Corner and The Bridges Car Park.
In the wake of Halloween, the team invited 15 groups to join in the march from Mowbray Park to Keel Square tonight, Friday, November 1, giving up to 400 youngsters and their families another chance to spook and celebrate by taking part.
Sharon Appleby is head of operations for Sunderland BID, which has organised the festival in partnership with Gentoo and Sunderland City Council, with Creative Seed brought in to lead the parade.
“What I have loved seeing is people lining the streets, videoing it and all the friends and family who have then all been looking out for each other,” she said.
“I think people have been ready to try something different and this is something more for the city centre, it’s been fantastic.
“The businesses have been really supportive, watching the children in all their costumes has been amazing and we’re really grateful to get that support.”
Among those to take part was Jemma Brunniche, who joined in with a witch-themed Back on the Map group of around a dozen children aged from two to 10.
She said: “We really enjoyed it, it’s been fab, and there’s been a lot of people out on the streets giving us their support.
“It’s really memorable for the children and they can go back to school and tell everyone they took part in a Halloween parade.”
Mayor of Sunderland Councillor David Snowdon and mayoress Councillor Dianne Snowdon helped launch the march.
In addition to Back on the Map, the parade involved: Sunderland College students; Pennywell Youth Project; ELCAP; Ryhope Terraces and Avenues Group; More than Grandparents; Southwick Neighourhood Youth Project; The Box Youth Project; Zazz, PAG, Washington Mind, Chance, Space 4, Youth Almighty and Atlas.