Autumn nights in Sunderland are set to be brightened by the return of the much loved Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light (Thursday October 18 – Sunday 18 November).

Classic favourites will sit alongside sparkling new installations allowing returning visitors to view the event in a whole new light.

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said ‘Since the reintroduction of this event in 2012, we have seen that it really has a special place in the hearts of Sunderland’s residents and our visitors from all over the region.

“This year we have made sure that there will be plenty for visitors of all ages to enjoy, and new things for returning customers to discover.”

The hugely popular Festival of Light in Roker Park will run Thursday-Sunday up until November 18, with the exception of Sunday 11 November, with gates also open every night of the October half term week.

Visitors must buy their tickets in advance online at the cost of £2 per person, with free entry again for children aged two and under.

To help avoid queues, event goers will also be asked to choose a preferred entry time to the park when they book their tickets online this year.

Head of Events at Sunderland City Council, Victoria French added: “After seeing Roker Park play host to hundreds of thousands of visitors last year, we wanted to introduce a system that ensures a comfortable experience for everybody attending this year’s Festival of Light.

“We are sure that the being able to choose their preferred time slots, will help visitors enjoy it even more.”

Further details of the event will be released in the coming weeks. Tickets for the Festival of Light are now on sale at www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/illuminations