This is when Sunderland Christmas lights and Sunderland illuminations will be switched on

Sunderland’s Christmas celebrations are set to sparkle as fairytale stars lead its lights switch-on, with the city’s Wearmouth Bridge to also shine with its down special display.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 12:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 9:21 am

The city centre event will be held on Thursday, November 21, when Cinderella and Prince Charming join mayor Councillor David Snowdon to press the big button in Keel Square, with the party to start from 6pm.

It is part of a wider festive programme, including the Festival of Light, which has previously been held in Roker Park and is making the move to Mowbray Park in the city centre and will be launched on the same evening.

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Last year's Christmas lights switch-on in Keel Square.
Last year's Christmas lights switch-on in Keel Square.

Sunderland City Council has said the lighting features on the bridge will be temporary until January, but some will be permanent and can be used year-round.

Roadside lights on the seafront will be lit up, but no additional activities will be held at the seafront.

Also ready to launch on November 21 is the Keel Square Ice Rink and Hadrian’s Tipi, which is planned for part of the former Crowtree Leisure Centre site, which will be open from 4pm.

Sunderland Empire Theatre Cinderella panto cast with Scarlett Moffatt as the Fairy Godmother - cast members will help turn on the Christmas lights in the city centre next month.

The line up for the Christmas switch-on was confirmed by Sunderland City Council, with Empire Theatre cast members from this year’s Cinderella show to play a leading role in the night.

Gemma Naylor, who appears in Nick Jnr's Go! Go! Go!, has taken on the title part in the show, and Prince Charming, played by ITV’s Superstars finalist Jon Moses, will appear, with Sun FM’s Simon Grundy and Lauren McLeish to help entertain the crowd.

A firework display will be the grand finale of the evening.

Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Snowdon said: "Our annual Christmas Lights Switch On is a wonderful feel-good, family event that allows the city to come together and officially start the countdown to Christmas.

Opening night of Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light last year in Roker Park.

"What’s more exciting this year is that there is so much to see and do in the city centre. We would encourage visitors to plan ahead so they can enjoy everything that Christmas in Sunderland has to offer."

The Wearmouth Bridge is also due to be lit up after the council sought planning permission for lighting to mark 90 years since it was opened.

For further information on the Christmas Lights Switch On and Christmas in Sunderland visit