Sunderland seafront traders gear up to welcome Airshow crowds

Crowds at last year's Sunderland International Airshow
Crowds at last year's Sunderland International Airshow
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Sunderland seafront is gearing up to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors this month.

Sunderland International Airshow kicks off on the evening of Friday, July 21, with large crowds are expected to gather on Cliffe Park and along the seafront again to enjoy the music and flying spectacular.

A full night's flying programme will include the Red Arrows and Typhoon Display team, while musicians including African performance group the Lions of Zululand will take to the stage from 4pm, before the main event at 6pm.

The programme includes performances from Hetton based folkrock, roots and colliery brass band 'Dennis' fresh from sell-out shows across the country, before some of Europe's finest tribute acts provide a nineties music themed climax to the show before a fireworks finale at 9.45pm.

The ninety minute 'City Life' programme celebrates the 25th anniversary of Sunderland being granted city status by Royal Assent, with music from the Spice Girls, Steps, Take That, Robbie Williams and Britpop era of Oasis, Pulp and Blur along with some of the 90s greatest dance hits.

Sunderland City Council is working closely with the Seafront Traders Association and Sea Road/Fulwell traders, to help prepare them for increased demand and make the most of the business opportunity to bring even more money into the local economy.

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Coun John Kelly said: "We’re doing everything we can to encourage local traders to play an ever bigger role in this year’s event, and add to the range of goods and services they already provide to their more regular customers.

"The Airshow weekend is a fantastic opportunity to showcase what they have to offer, and hopefully attract more people back into their businesses and back to the seafront.

"A fantastic range of new attractions along the seafront over the three-day event will complement the excellent range of existing attractions which are there all year round with great places to shop, eat, drink and relax."

Traders' Association chairman Ed Tutty added: "It is a really important time of the season for all the traders along the whole mile of seafront. We want the regulars and the first timers to really enjoy their time with the family watching the best air display in the country.

"The range of food and drink along the coast is second to none and I would encourage everyone to make the best use of the cafes, snack shops, Italian, Indian and Asian cuisine all ready and waiting.”

Sea Road/Fulwell Traders chariman Pauline Scott said: "The Airshow is a fabulous time for the area, full of entertainment and fun. As the main thoroughfare to the seafront, Sea Road has a wide range of quirky and unique businesses together with an array of coffee and specialist food shops. There is really something to interest everyone.

"We will be joining in the fun and giving a warm welcome to visitors as they make their way down to the seafront."

​During the Airshow, visitors can also enjoy a huge range of events, activities and displays with exhibitors from the armed forces, retailers and community and voluntary organisations providing a taste of arts, music, sports and family activities.

Sunderland City Council Head of Events Victoria French said: "The success of the airshow is largely due the range of attractions across the weekend and along the seafront, with a fantastic range of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops for visitors to enjoy."

Northumbria Police’s Silver Commander for the Sunderland International Airshow, Superintendent Sarah Pitt added: "I’ve met with the Seafront Traders Association and Sea Road traders and am really grateful for their support in helping us ensure the increased demand to their services is managed effectively, and help keep public safety to the airshow paramount."