29 November 2023

GIANT Christmas stockings featuring favourites such as Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph form part of a special trail in Sunderland over the festive period.

From now until 7 January, Sunderland BID invites people of all ages to participate in its Christmas Stocking Trail across the city centre.

And, along with four six-foot high stockings, there will be seven augmented reality characters to track down via the free Sunderland Experience app.

Schoolchildren have decorated the stockings, and Marlborough Primary School’s Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer stocking is sited at Harrison and Brown furniture store at Holmeside.

Eppleton Academy Primary School’s Frosty the Snowman stocking can be found at Helping Hands at Frederick Street, while Biddick Primary School’s stocking – which has a Deck the Halls theme – is at the Bridges and Fatfield Academy’s Jingle Bells stocking is at the Holiday Inn.

The trail is part of a bumper programme of Christmas activities organised by Sunderland BID in partnership with Sunderland City Council.

Other highlights include a pop-up skating rink at Keel Square on 9 December, with

general skating sessions and the opportunity for younger skaters to take to the rink alongside some of their favourite princesses.

And on 16 and 17 December, the square will become a centrepiece for everything festive and frozen as the city hosts its Ice Festival.

Against a backdrop of impressive ice sculptures, visitors will have the chance to meet Santa Claus and take part in special letter-writing workshops before posting their Christmas wish lists through a special letterbox made entirely of ice.

There will also be screenings of popular Christmas movies and other family-based entertainment.

“The city centre is really set to sparkle this Christmas, with events and activities for the whole family,” said Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID.

“It’s possibly our most ambitious and varied programme yet, and I’d urge everyone to come along and enjoy the fun.”

Councillor John Price, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, said: “There’s an exciting programme of activities taking place in the city centre this winter, and the Christmas Stocking Trail is set to be a popular attraction.

“It’s great to see the city’s schools getting involved in these Christmas events, and I’m sure the children will love being able to spot their artwork around the city centre.

“This is just one of the activities planned this winter, and there’s really something for everyone to enjoy, so I would encourage everyone to head over to Sunderland BID’s website to learn more about what’s on.”

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