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North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Switching on to Great Family Event


Oct 6, 2017 #Entertainment, #event


Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland Empire Theatre’s senior sales and marketing manager, John Cliff, and Sunderland City Council’s Head of Events Victoria French met on-site to see some of the lights already in place at Roker Park.

The annual event opens at 5pm this Thursday, and runs until the end of Sunday November 5th when a spectacular seafront fireworks finale will bring things to a close at 6pm.

The Festival of Light in Roker Park features established favourites such Alice in Wonderland, Sunderland Tap, Doctor Who, Aliens and Fairy Dell alongside new attractions including award winning interactive 3D lighting display ‘Heart Beat’ and ‘Disney Lights’ with characters from international film musical hit Frozen’ and other family favourites reflecting this year’s partnership with Sunderland’s Empire Theatre.

Buying an online £1 ticket (www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/illuminations) for this year’s display in the park entitles the individual ticket holder to a £1 discount on tickets for the Pantomime ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ being staged at Sunderland’s Empire Theatre (Dec 5 – Jan 7).

Free attractions along the seafront and on Cliffe Park include the giant big wheel, fairground, and food stalls with the ‘Roker Rattler’ landtrain in operation throughout, providing a transport of delight between the various landmark sites.                        

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly added: “The Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light are among the biggest and most popular attractions on our events calendar, and we hope everyone will come along to enjoy what promises to be one of the best ever.

“This year we’ve introduced an online ticketing system to help people avoid queuing and reduce administration costs so money can be invested back into the lights themselves, but people can still pay £2 for admission on the night if they prefer with the same  £1 discount on panto tickets.”

To find out more information about the event book tickets online please visit the See It, Do It website at: www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/illuminations which also includes details of car parking, Park’n’Ride, and pedestrian and vehicle access to help people plan their journeys to the event well in advance.



Seafront lights and activities on Cliffe Park and Bede’s Cross will run from Thursday 5 October until Sunday 5 November, 5-10pm each day.

The Festival of Light in Roker Park will be open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 5 October to 5 November plus every night at half term, from 5pm – 10pm each night.  Last entry into Roker Park will be 9.00pm.

The event will come to an end in spectacular style with a firework extravaganza on Sunday 5 November at 6pm. Best viewing points will be from Cliffe Park and all along the seafront. There is no charge for this event and tickets are not required.

Tickets are available to buy online now at www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/illuminations. They cost £1 per person, children aged 2 and under go free.

There will be no parking available in the streets surrounding the event. Limited pay and display parking is available at Marine Walk car parks.

Park and Ride from city centre
Service 101, operated by Go North East, will run from Thursday 5 October – Sunday 5 November on Thursdays, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays, plus every day during half term week (23-27 October)

Buses will run every 20 minutes from Keel Square (north side bus stop near to St Mary’s Car Park) and will drop off at Seaburn Tram Shelter. Return journeys will be from any bus stop on the sea front starting at the Tram Shelter going southwards,  back to Keel Square.

£1.50 per adult single trip, £2.50 per adult return, and £1.10 for a child day ticket (age 5-16). Under 5s travel free. Buses are wheelchair and pushchair accessible. Concession Passes and all other Network One or Go North East tickets/passes will not be valid

Travel on the bus is free for people parking in St Mary’s (postcode SR1 3AH) or Sunniside (postcode SR1 1UL) car parks and showing their car park ticket to the bus driver. These car parks are also free to park in after 3pm on Thursdays.

For a full park and ride timetable visit www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/illuminations.

By Emily