An EXCEPTIONAL parade this autumn will shine a spotlight on Sunderland, provided that people show their support for the event.

Fear on the Wear – the annual Halloween event – is set to return to the city centre this year, an initiative by Sunderland BID with support from Sunderland City Council.

And the plan this time round is to add in an exciting, new, family-friendly element which will see a lantern parade taking place through the city centre.

The parade, which will have unique lanterns created on the theme of sea creatures as a nod to the Wear, will be held on 27 October, starting at the Museum and Winter Gardens and making its way to Keel Square.

Organisers have now launched a crowdfunding campaign for the event, which, if successful, will allow scores of community groups, schools and local residents to create lanterns to take part in the event.

Donations – which can be as little as £2 – can be made at

A number of community workshop events will take place where people can make their lanterns in preparation for the parade, including at the Bridges on 23 and 25 October and the Museum and Winter Gardens on 24 and 26 October.

The sessions – during half term week – will all run from 11am to 2pm and anyone interested can just drop in and take part.

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID hopes that people will get behind the event.

“Fear on the Wear is always one of the most popular events of the year and we are thrilled to be adding a new element this year which everyone can participate in,” she said.

“All of the lanterns will look spectacular walking through the city centre and we’re sure that lots of people will want to take part.

“We really hope that they will also get behind the crowdfunding scheme so we can make sure it happens on the scale we’re envisaging.”

Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, Cllr John Price, said: “This is a great opportunity for residents and families to get involved in an event by making a unique lantern before watching it light up the city streets as part of a spectacular parade.

“Whether you can come along and take part in making a lantern or you can support the crowdfunding campaign, this will be a great community event that I’d encourage everyone to get behind if they can.”

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