Thousands of families embrace autumn with visit to Sunderland Illuminations

The display enchanted families across the region.

Families across the North East marked the start of the festive period with an illuminating visit to Sunderland.

It's been announced today that more than 200,000 people visited Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light, which ran for a month and ended on Bonfire Night.

New attractions to the popular yearly event included the interactive Heart Beat display and Cathedral of Mirrors by Quays Culture, as well as Disney's Frozen in Roker Park.

Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who contributed toward making this year’s event one of the best ever. From the visitors and exhibitors, to the sponsors, staff and contractors who helped make it all possible.

“We introduced some changes and innovations to make buying tickets to the Festival of Light and travelling to the seafront for the Illuminations easier, which seem to have been a success.

“People were really enthusiastic about the new lights displays in the park, and the giant big-wheel and fairground attractions on Cliffe Park were hugely popular again.”

More than 20,000 people visited Sunderland Illuminations this year.

Sponsors of the this year's event included the Empire Theatre, Northumbrian Water - with the Floating Tap light installation - and Minchella's Fish and Chips. Go North East also operated Park'n'Ride services from city centre car parks to the sea front.

Visitors to the Illuminations included Gemma White, of Roxburgh Street, who said: “The small charge to Roker Park meant the event was better managed within the park with no over-crowding, while parking around the area was well controlled for residents by keeping it to Thursday -Sunday and there was also a good variety of things to keep everyone interested.

“The fireworks on Sunday were amazing, one of the best free displays I've ever seen."

This year's Illuminations closed on Sunday, November 5 with a spectacular fireworks display.

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