Coca-Cola Christmas Truck to skip Sunderland with only two North East stops announced on 2018 tour

The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck in Sunderland in 2016
The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck in Sunderland in 2016
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One of the symbols of modern Christmas is not comin' to Sunderland this year.

The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck is setting off on its tour of the UK later this week, but anyone hoping to visit the modern festive icon will have to travel north of the Tyne to catch it.

The festive favourite first graced TV screens in 1995 in an advert featuring a fleet of twinkling Coca-Cola trucks making their way across a snowy landscape, and has become an enduring backdrop to Christmas in the modern age.

Previous years have seen crowds turn out for Coca-Cola's touring Christmas truck at Sunderland and Boldon Asda branches, and it also made a stop at Park Lane in 2013, but this year neither the Sunderland nor South Tyneside areas are included on any of the 24 stops.

The closest is Newcastle where the big red truck will be at Kingston Park Tesco from 12pm to 8pm on Wednesday November 14.

It will also call at the Sanderson Arcade in Morpeth on Thursday November 15 from 12pm to 8pm, and again on Friday 16 November also from 12pm to 8pm.

As well as a photo opportunity, Coke fans can also visit the truck to get a free 150ml can of Coca-Cola zero sugar, Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Original Taste.

There will be recycling bins on hand which Coca-Cola said was part of its global World Without Waste pledge – to collect and recycle a bottle or can for each one sold by the year 2030.