City leaders praise 'great reaction' to Sunderland Illuminations as 70,000 flock to see lights

More than 70,000 people have already visited or are ready to tour this year's Festival of Light.

Families and children from across the region have been to see displays old and new which stretch the length and breadth of the historic Roker Park, with entry ticketed into the park.

The light displays will run until Sunday, November 18, when a firework display will close the celebration.

The light displays will run until Sunday, November 18, when a firework display will close the celebration.

Thousands more every evening have also enjoyed the rest of the Sunderland Illuminations, which run along the award winning seafront from Roker to Seaburn and includes the Giant Observation Wheel and fairground attractions at Cliffe Park.

The festival runs until Sunday, November 18.

Sunderland City Council cabinet member for communities and culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “People’s response to this year’s event has been fantastic, with the new Sunderland Sphere and the Winter Wonderland displays appealing to all ages alongside the more established crowd favourites such as the Disney Characters and illuminated fountains in the lake.

“We’ve also had a great reaction to the online booking and new entry system to the Festival of Light which help control the numbers of people and create more time and space for visitors to enjoy the experience.

Features old and new have been put on show for the festival.

Features old and new have been put on show for the festival.

“The enhanced park and ride and public transport services has also made it even easier for everyone get to and from the seafront to enjoy the park, and the rest of the Illuminations displays and entertainment.”

Coun Kelly added: “I’d like to thank all our visitors for their continuing support, and encourage anyone who hasn’t booked their tickets yet for the Festival of Light in Roker Park to do so as quickly as they can to avoid disappointment as the event closes on 18 November with the traditional fireworks finale on the seafront at 6pm.”

The council's head of events, Victoria French added: “It’s great to see our events successfully continue to bring people into our city to enjoy themselves.

“We’re always delighted to welcome back our regular visitors, and greet even more new ones to experience all that Sunderland has to offer.

“There’s also still time to book online to have your name displayed up in lights on the Sunderland Sphere."

More information is available at www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/illuminations.

Cabinet member for communities and culture, Councillor John Kelly, Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Lynda Scanlan, and Mayoral Consort, Micky Horswill, welcomed families and children to the preview evening including sister and brother Nevaeh Kearney, four, and Hayden Kearney, seven.

Cabinet member for communities and culture, Councillor John Kelly, Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Lynda Scanlan, and Mayoral Consort, Micky Horswill, welcomed families and children to the preview evening including sister and brother Nevaeh Kearney, four, and Hayden Kearney, seven.