Everything you need to know about Sunderland's Christmas lights switch-on

Sunderland’s Christmas celebrations will officially begin with fairytale stars set to lead the official lights switch-on.

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 7:34 am
Updated Thursday, 21st November 2019, 8:40 am

Sunderland’s Christmas lights switch-on is set to kick-start the festive season in the city from 6pm on Thursday, November 21 at Keel Square.

The line up for the official switch-on was confirmed by Sunderland City Council and the cast of the city’s Empire Theatre panto, Cinderella, will play an all-important role.

Cinderella herself, played by Gemma Naylor, who appears in Nick Jnr's Go! Go! Go!, and Prince Charming, played by ITV’s Superstars finalist Jon Moses, will join the city’s mayor, Councillor David Snowdon in pressing the button that will light up the city centre.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Christmas lights switch on in Keel Square.

There will be a variety of performances from Grangetown Primary School, Channy Thompson and Spark Drummers, alongside the panto cast, to entertain the crowd.

Coun Snowdon will make a speech at the event and a firework display is then planned for the grand finale at around 7pm.

Ahead of the switch-on, the mayor said: "Our annual Christmas Lights Switch On is a wonderful feel-good, family event that allows the city to come together and officially start the countdown to Christmas.

"What’s more exciting this year is that there is so much to see and do in the city centre. We would encourage visitors to plan ahead so they can enjoy everything that Christmas in Sunderland has to offer."

The seafront lights have a suitably nautical theme

Christmas in Sunderland will also include plenty of other festive treats including the The Festival of Light in Mowbray Park and the return of Hadrian's Tipi and The Keel Square Ice Rink.

It also stars Gogglebox’s Scarlett Moffatt as the Fairy Godmother. Joining Scarlett will be cabaret comedian Miss Rory (Dan Cunningham) as Rorina Hardup, alongside Duncan Burt as ugly sister Ruby.

Sunderland’s illuminations are under way. The bright lights are shining along the seafront after being switched on on November 15.

For the Christmas lights switch-on, free parking will be available after 3pm in the nearby St Mary’s car park, and all other council city centre car parks.