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ByDave Stopher

May 17, 2023

SUNDERLAND is set to go Eurovision crazy, with a day of free entertainment in the heart of Park Lane.

And that includes a talent show, activities for all the family plus a tribute to the greatest Eurovision band of all time.

A large screen will be erected in the area so that people can watch the show live on the evening of May 13 – but the fun starts hours earlier.

Sunderland Eurovision Party has been organised by Adam and Karen Dickman who own Port of Call and Gatsby, along with Andrew Golding, managing director of a cluster of city centre venues including The Point complex, Ttonic and Chaplin’s.

Supported by Sunderland BID and Sunderland City Council, the run-up to the world’s biggest song contest will begin at 1pm, with face painting for children and a Tik Tok dance off with Captain Hook and a group of princesses.

This will be followed at 2pm by the opportunity for Wearside’s own singers to showcase their skills in a Sunderland’s Got Talent competition – with some great prizes on offer.

Open to under 18s only, the winner will receive £100 cash, a Sunderland Gift Cardand a free recording session with professional entertainment providers, ISG.

At 3pm Sunderland College’s Performing Arts students will be showcasing songs from High School Musical and then at 4pm there will be the chance to enjoy a tribute to one of the most successful Eurovision winners – Abba.

Voulez Vous will perform an hour of the Swedish band’s greatest hits, with more entertainment at 6pm in the form of Mac*Busted, peforming a string of hits from McFly and Busted.

At 7pm everyone can get in fine voice with Crowd Karaoke, ready for the show which will begin at 7.45pm and to – hopefully – watch England’s entry Mae Muller sweep to victory.

Karen Dickman, of Port of Call, believes it will be a fantastic day.

“The fact that the Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in the UK makes it even more exciting,” she said.

“And we thought we should really make it something to celebrate for all the family, so we hope that people will turn up throughout the day and really make it an occasion to remember.”

Her words were echoed by Andy Golding.

“Eurovision is really popular and never more so than this year because it’s happening in Liverpool, which makes it feel close to home,” he said.

“We hope we’ve pulled together a programme which has something for everyone and will get us all in the mood to party.”

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, was full of praise for the ParkLane traders for pulling together such a great event.

“We know that Eurovision will be bigger and better than ever this year and we know that many people were disappointed they couldn’t get tickets to see it live in Liverpool,” she said

“Hopefully this will more than make up for that with such an exciting mix of entertainment which really has something for everyone.”

Marion Dixon, Assistant Director of Regulatory Services at Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this free family focused event.

There’s a huge amount of excitement around this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and this will be a great opportunity for people to come together and enjoy all the buzz around this fantastic event.”

For more information on the programme on the day visit www.sunderlandbid.co.uk