SparkA MAGICAL programme which will see light projections, fireworks, street entertainment and a celebrity light-switch on, will ensure that this Christmas is the best one yet in Sunderland.

A joint plan formulated by Experience It Here! Sunderland’s Business Improvement District, events’ company Sunderland Live and Sunderland City Council will see the city enjoy weeks of exciting and innovative activities from November right through until the New Year.

In addition to the traditional Christmas lighting the city will explode into light with Christmas themed projections illuminating key buildings over the weekends of December 11 to 13 and December 18 and 20.

At the same time the programme will include a number of state-of the-art street theatre acts including the highly acclaimed Spark! which will be bringing the streets to life with their unique sound and light show.

Other plans include a celebration of Christmas around the world from December 4 – 6, giving visitors the opportunity to experience how the festive season is marked across the globe.

A Family Santa Run and a Chocolate Santa Run along with the screening of festive films in an outdoor heated cinema in Mowbray Park are also taking place, with the park welcoming Santa’s reindeer from December 19 to 22.

Visitors to Sunderland city centre may find themselves the recipients of some unexpected gifts while doing their Christmas shopping, thanks to an initiative which will offer the opportunity to win prizes from the beginning of December right up until Christmas Eve.

An Advent door will appear at various businesses each day, with shoppers being given the opportunity to choose a key and try to open the door to win a daily prize.
Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID said that this year’s plans “will make Christmas in the city the most memorable to date.”

“By combining our resources we are able to deliver one of the most exciting Christmas programmes that Sunderland has ever seen,” he said.

“There is something to please everyone with our imaginative events and activities, designed to inspire people to visit the city centre and enjoy a magical festive experience, which in turn will be a real benefit to the traders.”

Cllr John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture said: “Working with partners such as Sunderland Live and Sunderland BID, we aim to create a magical Christmas experience for the thousands of shoppers and visitors that come to the city centre over the festive period.

“We hope everyone will find time to join in with our Christmas celebrations, with this year’s programme of events promising to be the best ever.”

Chris Alexander, Chief Operating Officer at Sunderland Live added that working collaboratively would create the best possible Christmas experience for Sunderland.”

“By pooling our resources we are able to maximise all elements of the programme, from the creative ideas through to the detail of event delivery, meaning that visitors and residents will get the best that the city has to offer,” he said.

For further information on all the activities visit sunderlandlive.co.uk