Hundreds of people flocked to Houghton for the start of the annual Feast celebrations.
This year the ten-day spectacular is taking on a movie them - The Greatest Show.
And, what a show was in store for everyone who went along to the opening night, the Houghton Feast Tattoo, with singing, dancing and music.
Among the performers was the Houghton Feast Children’s Choir, made up of 100 children from the town’s primary schools, who sang songs from the hit film, The Greatest Showman.
The schools which took part were Hetton, Hetton Lyons, East Rainton, Gillas Lane, Eppleton, Burnside, Newbottle and Our Lady Queen of Peace.
They were joined by dancers from Zazz, Houghton Pipe Band, Houghton Area Youth Band and Ann Marie Gray, winner of The Voice of Houghton competition.
Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Lynda Scanlan, and her consort, Michael Horswill, were there to perform the light switch on ceremony.
Coun Scanlan, said: “It is a great honour and privilege for me to open this year’s festival, which dates back around 800 years and is such an integral part of the community here is Houghton-le-Spring.”
She thanked everyone who has been involved with organising such a huge event and that it is something everyone in Sunderland can be very proud of.
Over the coming days there are dozens of activities and events planned to keep everyone entertained.
This weekend will include the Houghton Feast Parade today, a photograph exhibition in the town centre, display of mining banners and a fairground model exhibition in Houghton Methodist Church.
For more information visit website at www.houghtonfeast.co.uk.