Festival of Light plans: Polar bears, ice mine and frosty dragon among features lined up for Sunderland event

A bid to host Sunderland’s Festival of Light at a new location is set to be given the green light .

Friday, 25th October 2019, 6:06 pm
Updated Sunday, 27th October 2019, 2:47 pm
A previous Festival of Light

The iconic event, previously staged in Roker Park, is planned to take place in Mowbray Park this year.

Mowbray Park has hosted various events in recent years from ice rinks, reindeer stables and concerts to film screenings.

The venue change aims to draw more people into the city centre to enjoy winter events including the return of ‘Hadrian’s Tipi”, an ice rink and the reindeer dash.

Access to the Festival of Light will be taken from two ticketed entrances and one main exit on Burdon Road with the park closed to the general public who have not purchased a ticket.

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For the festival move to take place, Sunderland City Council has to grant planning permission.

The decision will be made on Monday, October 28 and includes permission for the event to run between October and December for the next five years.

Documents prepared for the council’s area development control sub-committee also give a sneak peek of some of the light attractions on offer.

This includes a polar bear feature, ice mine railway, ice dragon, ice gazebo and palace boulevard.

Food and drink, acoustic music and festive crafts/children’s activities will be located within a sheltered gazebo area.

A maximum of 8,000 people are also expected to attend per evening with three to four timeslots per hour for entry.

As part of the planning process, the council has worked to minimise any potential impacts on the historic park, neighbours and visitors

Sunderland Civic Society have also requested a condition that any damage to grass, trees and shrubs should be repaired as soon as possible after the event.

Families visiting the celebration last year could view and enjoy the illuminations along the seafront free of charge, while a ticket was required to see festival attractions at Roker Park.

According to council report, there were around 150,000 attendees of which 34,000 were first time visitors.

This year’s Festival of Light will launch on Thursday, November 21 and runs until Sunday, December 22.

The event will be open to ticket holders between Thursday and Sunday, 4pm-9pm.

Tickets are £3 per person with under 2s admitted free and discounts available for online bookings of three tickets or more.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit: www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/FOL