Illuminations set to sparkle

SUNDERLAND ILLUMINATIONS, one of the biggest events in the North East calendar, will be back and brighter than ever in 2016.

Around 300,000 people visited in 2015 and the event starts on Saturday 24 September with a spectacular switch-on and has been extended to end with a bang on Bonfire Night Saturday 5 November.

This year's event, organised by Sunderland Live on behalf of Sunderland City Council, will see all of Roker Park being used for a whole host of new and exciting features, including pirates, dinosaurs and fairies.

A small entrance fee for Roker Park has also been introduced for the first time this year, with a cost of £1 for everyone (children aged 2 and under are free).

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture said: "Last year's Illuminations was fantastic, with 300,000 people visiting from across the region. We want to keep running the event for as long as possible, but simply can't afford to do that from our own funds.

"We hope people will appreciate the reasons for introducing this very small charge, and be reassured that every penny will go back into the pot for running the event in years to come."

Visitors to the event this year can look forward to activity right along the seafront, including the return of the big wheel, a very popular attraction in 2015, as well as activities on Ocean Park and Cliff Park

Tom Parkin from the Seafront Traders Association said: "The plans are coming together nicely for the illuminations this year, and we’re all looking forward to it.

"Given the council’s budget position and cuts, it’s understandable that it needs to look at alternative ways to keep this event running, for both the local economy and the enjoyment of local residents. The £1 charge for entry to Roker Park seems very reasonable, considering the amount of things that will be in there to see and do."

Full details of the event, including how to get there and details of special events and activities taking place for the launch night, October half-term, Halloween and Bonfire Night, will be released nearer the time.

Share this

Did you know?

Sunderland is home of the National Glass Centre - the only UK centre celebrating the history of glass making and providing a world focus for glass. The centre reopened in 2013 after undergoing a major refurbishment.


RT : Join us for the preview of Kelly Richardson: Pillars of Dawn at Seaton Delaval Hall this Bank Holiday Monday 28 May… 21 hours 12 min ago
RT : Details of the Friday night draw, as we mark 30 years of the flight display 22 hours 30 min ago
RT : Next week is - why not bring the kids to our creative art workshop🎨📿on Wed May 30? Have a go at making je… 22 hours 47 min ago
Can’t wait to see these guys on 27 and 28 July! 1 day 12 hours ago
If you haven't already visited this captivating and breathtaking exhibition , get there soon! It ends 10… 1 day 17 hours ago
Let's help to get our already fabulous sea front 'ship shape' for the 1 day 17 hours ago
RT : There is still spaces available for volunteers to get involved in this exciting project. Help turn the new Northern… 1 day 17 hours ago
RT : We're getting super excited for ! We're working with who are running two workshops where… 1 day 17 hours ago
Who doesn't love top notch jokes! We certainly do so that's our Friday evening all sorted then! 1 day 19 hours ago
RT : Check out our non-fiction collection on ! We have sporting memoirs, music, politics, true crime and more!… 1 day 19 hours ago
What a fabulous opportunity to work in such a fascinating historical building! 2 days 33 min ago
RT : Wonderful “ship sails” made in a variety of media by The Art Studio members in preparation for . 2 days 1 hour ago
RT : Coursework deadlines? Upcoming pub quiz? Or do you just want a bit more info than your go-to search engine can prov… 2 days 1 hour ago
RT : At this Thursday's Rainforest Rascals playgroup we're reading from the picture book 'Monkey Found a Baby'. Songs, s… 2 days 1 hour ago
There are so many great places to visit and amazing things to see and do in our fabulous this bank holi… 2 days 20 hours ago


Download the See it Do it app

Sign up to our newsletter