Captain Hook and Peter Pan are playing their part in helping this year’s Festival of Light and Sunderland Illuminations (18 0ct – 18 Nov) fly into people’s imaginations.

Both are lead characters in this year’s Sunderland Empire Pantomime (14 Dec – 6 Jan), with the theatre keen to use their presence in the city to support the event in Roker Park.

As part of this the Sunderland Empire has sponsored a visitor map of the Festival of Light which will be given out free at the event and also available to download ( featuring all of the displays visitors can enjoy.

The map will show where this year’s new attractions the Sunderland Sphere, Winter Wonderland feature and Underwater Kingdom projection can be found along with all the old favourites including Disney characters.

Next to the Pirates and Fairy Dell area visitors can also have their photographs taken alongside a pirate photo-board and share their images on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram alongside #SundEmpire for the chance to win a family ticket for Peter Pan.

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, Cllr John Kelly said: “The support of our cultural and community partners is vital to the success of events such as this, and I’d like to thank the Sunderland Empire for sponsoring the event map and offering a fantastic prize.

“We want this year’s Festival of Light and Sunderland Illuminations to be the best yet, and I’m sure all our visitors will enjoy themselves with plenty to see and do along our award winning seafront.

Sunderland Illuminations

Councillor John Kelly admires the illuminations in Roker Park, Sunderland.

“Events bring people into our city, and I hope once they are here they can see what else we have to offer including the wonderful Sunderland Empire which stages some of the biggest shows outside London’s West End which includes Peter Pan this year.”

As part of this year’s Festival of Light in Roker Park visitors can also pay £5 to have short messages to loved ones displayed on the giant spherical screens of the interactive Sunderland Sphere lighting display.

(Please visit www.seeitdoitsunderland/illuminations and look for ‘Treat your friends or family to seeing their names up in lights’ to buy your message for moderation and display)

Communications Manager for the Sunderland Empire, Claire Pickersgill added: “We are delighted to show our continued support to the Festival of Light and Sunderland Illuminations through both sponsorship of the map and the exciting new Peter Pan themed social media competition.


Sunderland Sphere

“This successful event continues to appeal to visitors from across the region and links intrinsically to our ethos of increasing the footfall into the city through high profile visitor attractions for the whole family to enjoy.

” We look forward to seeing the selfie station photos from Peter Pan’s corner lighting up social media! Visitors are reminded to tag us for the chance to win the swashbuckling panto prize.”

Festival of Light tickets are available online now and visitors are reminded that you cannot pay on the entrance to the Festival of Light and must have a pre-booked ticket.

All ticketing and travel information is available on

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