02 October 2019

Sunderland city centre will be a sucker for tentacles this Halloween – as its fright fest adds an exciting new attraction to the programme of events.

Lights Out -which runs from 25 October to 3 November – will bring together a whole host of activities to mark the most frightening time of the year.

And now organisers Sunderland BID and Sunderland City Council has unveiled a new, exciting addition to the celebrations – giant, inflatable tentacles which will be attached to some of the city’s buildings.

The inflatables are the work of acclaimed company, Designs In Air, which has worked with clients including the 2012 Olympics, The Eden Project and international performers, Cirque du Soleil.

Their work has been seen as far away as the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, Lollapalooza in the USA and at Glastonbury.

And now for the first time their unique creations will be seen in the North East, thanks to sponsorship from the BID, the council, the University of Sunderland and the Bridges.

The majority of the huge inflatables will be situated at Mackie’s Corner at the junction of High Street West while others will fly from the roof of the Bridges’ car park, near the TK Maxx entrance.

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, said the tentacles would be a stunning addition to the Lights Out programme.

“They are going to look really spectacular and hopefully will bring people from across the region into Sunderland to see them, along with enjoying the full Lights Out events that are taking place,” she said.

Alex Kirtley, who is currently developing Mackie’s Corner, said she was delighted to be involved.

“At Mackie’s Corner we can’t wait to be part of the fantastic Lights Out event to be held in the city centre,” she said.

“Halloween is a big celebration across the world and now Sunderland is getting involved thanks to the BID and the council.

“With loads of activities for families and the Halloween parade, it’s going to be a brilliant October half term.”

The 10 day programme will include everything from spooky bingo to a scary park run, with one of the highlights being the huge community parade which will take place on Friday 1 November, with hundreds of people taking part.

Groups across the city are already preparing for the event, which will leave from the Museum and Winter Gardens and ending up at Keel Square.

Throughout the festival there will be family friendly activities in the specially-dressed the Bridges shopping centre and events will draw to a close, on Sunday 3 November, with an alternative night market Halloween special at The Roker Hotel.

For full details of each day’s events visit