North East Connected

Switched on for a Fantastic Evening

Dated: 15/09/2015 Cliffe Park lighthouse illuminations testing with Cllr John Kelly and others next to the lighthouse with illuminated logos projected onto it ahead of this year's illuminations in Sunderland. FAO Jonathan Kinnair at Sunderland City Council #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia

A FANTASTIC laser display is set to thrill the crowds at the Sunderland Illuminations switch-on launch event at 7pm Saturday 26 Sept on Cliffe Park, Seaburn.

Special guest and ambassador for Sunderland, Lauren Laverne will join Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Watson to bring to life a spectacular array of Alice in Wonderland installations and exciting new features such as a sea of stars, the Tardis and a Dalek. There will be 3D projections of history of Sunderland onto the lighthouse on Cliffe Park, dancing fountains and lights, caves with skeletons and gremlins as well as a whole range of fun family activities

Cllr Watson said: “I hope to see everyone come along with family and friends and make the most of this fantastic occasion. The Sunderland Illuminations is rapidly developing into something truly special for the city and our fantastic coastline. This annual event is arguably the biggest event of its type in the North East and it is something we should not only go along to and enjoy, but also be proud of as it puts the city firmly on the map.”

Last year almost 150,000 people visited the event and this year organisers are aiming to make the event even bigger and better than before. There is also the added incentive of finding the newly imagined “Tap” feature somewhere in Roker Park.

Alfie Joey from BBC Newcastle will host a packed event programme from 7 until 9pm and there will be a magical live music, movement and lighting spectacular from Spark! Drummers and illuminated Alice characters as they guide the audience from Roker Park to Cliffe Park for the big switch on.

Cllr Watson added: “I’d like to thank our partners Aurora/Balfour Beatty Living Places, Blackpool Council and Sunderland Live as well as all my council colleagues for their hard work in delivering such a fantastic event. I’d also like to thank in particular, the local businesses and partners who have both sponsored and supported our ambition to provide residents and visitors to the city and indeed the region, an event that everyone can be proud of.

Possibly the best way to see the lights all along Whitburn Road will be by the new Road Train which is making its first appearance, or for the ultimate viewpoint there is the 32m illuminated observation wheel in a prominent position on Cliffe Park. For some added fun, a roller rink is also a new addition to the event, on Cliffe Park. Pre-book online at

Park and ride will be in operation from the city centre,every 20 mins on Thursdays to Sundays, picking up from the bus stop opposite Keel Square, at the former Vaux site.. There will be no parking available in the streets near the seafront Thursdays-Sundays. The park and ride service is free on presentation of valid parking ticket, for anyone who parks in St Mary’s or Sunniside car parks. Parking is also free after 3pm every Thursday in council operated car parks.

For the latest information go to or @SeeitDoitSund and for the latest traffic and travel tune into BBC Newcastle on Digital and 95.4 FM.


Bede’s Cross
Small children’s rides – open every day of the event, 4pm-10pm

Cliffe Park
Illuminated Observation Wheel
Open launch night 6pm-10pm and then every day of the event 4pm-10pm

Roller Rink
Open Thursdays to Sundays from 1 October, 4pm-10pm and every day of half term
45 minute sessions (with 15 min changeover) starting at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm.
No age restrictions, child’s size 9 smallest boot size.
Book online in advance

Ocean Park
Large fun fair – open every day of the event, 4pm- 10pm
Adult and kids rides, side stalls and catering concessions

Land Train
4-10pm, Thursdays – Sundays and every day at half term.
Pick up and drop off points – Roker Park, Queens Parade (outside Promenade public house) and Cliffe Park (southbound, near tram shelter).

Model Railway, Roker Park
Running every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening between 5pm-8pm for the duration of the illuminations
No charge, donations welcomed

Park and Ride
Stagecoach buses
Thursdays – Sundays and half term. Service runs every 20 minutes from city centre
Route: from St. Mary’s Boulevard (bus stop opposite Keel Square, former Vaux site) via Wearmouth Bridge, Wheatsheaf Gyratory, Dame Dorothy Street, Harbour View, Roker Terrace and Whitburn Road to Seaburn Morrison’s roundabout
£1.50 per adult single trip, £2.50 per adult return, and £1.10 for a child day ticket. Under 5s travel free.
Free for people parking in St Mary’s or Sunniside car parks and showing their car park ticket

Park and walk
University of Sunderland St Peter’s campus car park, £1.60 for whole evening from 5pm. (£2 on match days)
Approx. 1mile/20 minutes walk

Sunderland Illuminations – lighting locations
From Morrison’s to Marriott
New coloured street lights
Fountain at Marriott roundabout

Tram Shelter –coloured floodlighting

Cliffe Park
Lighthouse with 3D mapping projection. 5 min history of Sunderland, followed by sponsor logos, then 1 min countdown.
Illuminated observation wheel

Marine Walk
Motif lighting
Shelter – primary coloured lighting display – street artist
Starflower projection on cliffs

Roker Park
Arch to Marine Walk – image projection
Skeletons/gremlins projections in caves
Lake – sea of stars x 20 (4ft high)
Illuminated tap – on land to south east of lake
Alice in Wonderland features – all together on left after entrance
Play area flood lit
Tardis and dalek – on grassed area on left of main exit route onto Whitburn Road
Dancing fountains and lights – on grassed area on left of main exit route onto Whitburn Road
Cross road features
From Marriott roundabout to Wolsely pub
Festoon lighting over the road, plus motifs in lights, cross road features.

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