Thousands turn out for fireworks finale of Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light

This year’s Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light went out with a bang as a stunning firework display signalled the end of the extravaganza.

The seafront off the city's coast was lit up all kinds of colours with thousands of people watching on.

Tonight's firework display.

Tonight's firework display.

Civic chiefs believe that tens of thousands of people have visited the illuminations and the Festival of Light, which has been put on in Roker Park, over the past month.

Features at the festival included a Winter Wonderland and a mystical Underwater Kingdom Projection as well as an 18 metre-high ‘Sunderland Sphere’ illuminated dome.

Among those taking in the fireworks display from Cliffe Park in Seaburn, which has had a giant big wheel and fairground as well as food stalls with music and lights as part of the event, was Caroline Walker, 64, of Fulwell.

“It’s not far for me to walk to so I thought I’d come down,” she said.

Tonight's firework display.

Tonight's firework display.

“The lights look great and the festival that’s been on in Roker Park has been dead busy over the past few weeks.

“It’s good to see loads of families out enjoying themselves and Sunderland’s seafront being used like this because it does have a lot to offer to visitors.”

Colin Johnson, 58, from South Shields, was with grandson Max, seven.

“It isn’t far for us to come along to so we thought we’d have a ride through to Sunderland on the Metro for the fireworks,” said Colin.

Joshua Harper, five, and Sophie Harper, 11, at the firework display.

Joshua Harper, five, and Sophie Harper, 11, at the firework display.

“Roker Park looks great all lit up like it has been, it’s cheap to get into as well and the fireworks on the seafront have really added to it tonight even though it’s a bit cold for the kids to be out in.

“It might’ve been better if the lights and the festival were on for a bit longer in the run-up to Christmas mind.”

The Festival of Light display and stretch of illuminations from Roker to Seaburn remained switched on until 10pm for the last of the visitors to enjoy.

Visitors watching tonight's display.

Visitors watching tonight's display.

The big wheel at Sunderland Illuminations.

The big wheel at Sunderland Illuminations.

Tonight's firework display.

Tonight's firework display.