Sunderland Christmas lights turn on 2022: Who is switching on Sunderland’s lights and when is the event?

The festive season on Wearside is set to get underway soon!

The start of November means Christmas is bearing down on us all, and whether it be shopping for presents, carolling or meeting family, we all have our own traditions, and Sunderland is no different thanks to the ceremonial turning on of the city’s Christmas lights to begin the festive season.

When are Sunderland’s Christmas lights being turned on?

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The annual event is happening on the evening of Thursday, November 17. Festivities will begin at 5pm in Keel Square in the heart of the city centre. Entertainment will start one hour after the site opens for the evening with the official light turn on expected at 7pm.

Sunderland Christmas lights turn on 2022: Who is switching on Sunderland’s lights and when is the event?

Who is turning on Sunderland’s Christmas lights in 2022?

Former Sunderland AFC striker and club legend Kevin Phillips will be flicking the switch to start the Christmas period in Sunderland this year. The 49-year-old is currently manager of South Shields and will return to Sunderland this November.

Phillips scored 113 goals in 208 appearances for the Black Cats and remains as the only English player to win the European Golden Boot following his 30 goals in the 1999-2000 Premier League season – a year which saw Sunderland finish in 7th place.

After his spell in the North East, Phillips spent time at Southampton, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Blackpool, Crystal Palace and Leicester City before retiring in 2014. South Shields is his first managerial job.

Who else will be at Sunderland’s Christmas lights switch on?

The team behind Sunderland BID have announced Kevin Phillips will be joined by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alison Smith and the cast of Aladdin, the pantomime which will be hosted at the Empire Theatre throughout the Christmas period.

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A series of Disney characters from Frozen will also be in attendance with entertainment coming from light artistry as well as a series of other activites which are yet to be announced by Sunderland City Council.

On-stage activities will be hosted by Metro Radio Breakfast hosts Steve and Karen. The popular duo can usually be heard on weekdays between 6am and 10pm.