A dazzling display of fireworks will light up the Sunderland skyline as the city prepares to welcome in 2022, in a new family-friendly event this New Year’s Eve.
Riverside Sunderland will play host to a spectacular 15-minute aerial display, with live on-stage entertainment, on-street activity and a food and drink offer around Riverside Sunderland and Keel Square as part of a family-focused celebration to see in the new year.
And with a family-friendly 6pm start, the event will see Metro Radio broadcast live from the city centre, providing a boost to businesses by attracting more people into the heart of the city for the final evening of 2021.
The event is the latest part of Sunderland’s festive line-up to be announced, with Sunderland’s popular ice-rink set to return from Saturday, November 27, as well as a family-friendly fair ground on the former Crowtree site and a Santa’s Grotto in the Bridges shopping centre.
The Christmas programme is being delivered in partnership between Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID), and the plans will be welcome news for residents and visitors to the city, who were unable to enjoy the usual festivities last year due to tight Covid restrictions.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re really pleased to be adding to the festive programme for 2021 with an event that is absolutely perfect for families.
“The 6pm start means that people will have plenty of time to come into the city centre beforehand and enjoy a family day out, or stick around after for food and drinks, so we’re thrilled to be introducing this event which we hope will bring more people into the heart of the city to enjoy their New Year celebrations.”
The New Year’s Eve activities will be concentrated around the Riverside Sunderland site, which has undergone a dramatic transformation since the last major festive programme in 2019, with construction of City Hall now complete and the new Holiday Inn Keel Square taking shape.
Sharon Appleby, chief executive of Sunderland BID said: “We’re delighted to have been able to reintroduce Christmas activities this year, and to add to that with a New Year’s Eve event, that will hopefully bring people into the city centre to enjoy the occasion, is fantastic.
“There will be lots for the family to enjoy – from the ice rink, that will still be in place on New Year’s Eve, to the tipi, fun fair and the live entertainment as part of this event – it really will be a brilliant way for Sunderland families to see in 2022.”
In view of the continuing high numbers of Covid infections in the city, members of the public planning to attend the city’s festive events are advised to take precautions such as wearing a face covering, adhering to social distancing where possible and taking a lateral flow test before attending, to keep themselves and others safe. As always, anyone feeling unwell is advised to stay at home.
For further information on the festive programme in the city, visit: https://www.mysunderland.co.uk/christmas and to book the ice rink which will be in place until January 2, visit www.sunderlandicerink.co.uk.