Over 200,000 people enjoy Sunderland Illuminations

Visitors turned out in huge numbers to enjoy this year’s Sunderland IIluminations and Festival of Light.

New attractions such as the interactive ‘Heart Beat’ and Disney displays in Roker Park, plus fairground fun and food along the seafront attracted crowds of more than 200,000  over the month long event (5 Oct – 5 Nov).

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly 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.” 

This year’s sponsors included the Sunderland Empire Theatre with ticketing, Northumbrian Water with the ‘Floating Tap’ light installation and Minchella’s Fish and Chips with the lighting display of the main traffic roundabout on the seafront.

Theatre Director at the Sunderland Empire Ben Philips said: “We were delighted to support this year’s Illuminations, and it’s great to hear how successful they’ve been. It’s now over to us to continue to thrill families this festive season with our wonderful pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.”

Head of External Communications at Northumbrian Water, Maureen Berne added: “It has been fantastic to be involved again this year with the Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light with the ‘Floating Tap’ installation.
“Once again, the event has been hugely popular, attracting more than 200,000 people from far and wide, who have been wowed by the fantastic spectacle that has been on offer. At a time when Sunderland is bidding to become the City of Culture 2021, it’s great to have an event like this that showcases the city’s creativity and appeals to such a broad audience.”

A new exhibitor this year was Quays Culture ‘Heart Beat’ winner of the international DARC award for its innovative use of inter-active lights, with visitors touching hands or kissing to complete the circuit to light up the symbol of a heart as a symbol of love and friendship.

They also exhibited  interactive artwork 'Cathedral of Mirrors' which was twelve illuminated columns that flooded the area with beautiful colours as people moved between the columns.

Visitors to this year’s event included Gemma White from Roxburgh Street who said: “As a resident of the area, I would like to give some positive feedback to all of the organisers and workers involved in this year's Illuminations.
“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!”

One of the changes this year was the Park’n’ride from city centre car parks to the seafront operated by Go North East.
Head of commercial and retail, Stephen King said: “The Sunderland Illuminations are a big event in the region’s calendar and this year was no exception, with excellent attendance numbers and great visitor feedback.
“Although this was the first time we’ve supported it in this way, our special events team did a brilliant job.”

Share this

Did you know?

Roker beach is home to the unique 'cannonball' rock formations that were the inspiration for the seafront 'pods'.

Twitter

RT : Saturday Feb 17 from 11am–3pm - come and celebrate with Lion dances🦁, Chinese arts & crafts, family… https://t.co/xY3f6JI1v0 12 hours 32 min ago
RT : Get set for Wonderland at as Sunderland based bring & Robbie Live for on… https://t.co/ByIXxTCsJi 12 hours 33 min ago
Great to have you in Sunderland ,come back soon! https://t.co/fqMtzvGaoF 3 days 2 hours ago
RT : It's only 6 months to go until The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018, we can't wait! Find out more about the races a… https://t.co/iPAcRLWN5T 5 days 15 hours ago
Get the dates in your diary now! 2018 is 27-29 July ✈️🚁 https://t.co/bjmV3aNG9R 6 days 18 hours ago
RT : EXTENDED DEADLINE: We are seeking to commission four Wearside artists or companies to deliver an outdoor performanc… https://t.co/JRb9nuXKdG 1 week 14 hours ago
RT : Our new Visit Guide is now available for January - March 2018 - highlights include our Valentine's, Feb Half Term a… https://t.co/Lcm9UFtI7Y 1 week 4 days ago
RT : Calling all - just 4 weeks until heads ogre to Sunderland! Who's joining us for a shrek-tac… https://t.co/G6PmTtdKqz 1 week 4 days ago
RT : Happy New Year! Here's a couple of great offers to get 2018 started! https://t.co/0u8UUDbUxr https://t.co/dGyJW0eLry 1 week 6 days ago
We’re so lucky to have this coastline on our doorsteps, for visits in every season. https://t.co/RGX5Ip9k2D 2 weeks 1 day ago
RT : From the North East debut of Matilda and a magnificent parade to mark the Tall Ships Race to Gary Barlow's sold-out… https://t.co/zJGNqmM4YD 2 weeks 5 days ago
RT : Lots happening in Park Lane Market this Saturday between 10 - 4 pm, including glitter, braiding, face painting and… https://t.co/K1H1TwPmU5 4 weeks 12 hours ago
This looks like a perfect winter warmer after a fresh stroll along the beach! https://t.co/wX6zCWpt3X 4 weeks 22 hours ago
RT : Tickets for Santa's Grotto on Sunday now sold out! Still a few left for this Saturday, book ASAP to avoid disappoin… https://t.co/V9jamhRzjx 1 month 3 days ago
RT : OPENS TOMORROW! Who's ready for ? We are full of beans!! 🎉🎉… https://t.co/ZLsQbshL8A 1 month 3 days ago

Facebook

Download the See it Do it app

Sign up to our newsletter