A day of free entertainment awaits in the heart of Park Lane as SUNDERLAND gears up for Eurovision fever.

The festivities will include a talent show, family activities, and a special tribute to the greatest Eurovision band of all time.

A large screen will also be erected so that attendees can catch the show live on May 13th, although the excitement will begin hours earlier.

The Sunderland Eurovision Party has been organized by Adam and Karen Dickman, the proprietors of Port of Call and Gatsby, and Andrew Golding, the managing director of a cluster of city centre venues, such as The Point complex, Ttonic, and Chaplin’s.

With support from Sunderland BID and Sunderland City Council, the build-up to the world’s most prominent song contest will start at 1 pm, featuring children’s face painting and a Tik Tok dance-off with Captain Hook and a group of princesses.

This will be followed at 2pm by the opportunity for Wearside’s own singers to showcase their skills in a Sunderland’s Got Talent competition – with some great prizes on offer.

Open to under 18s only, the winner will receive £100 cash, a Sunderland Gift Card and a free recording session with professional entertainment providers, ISG.

At 3pm Sunderland College’s Performing Arts students will be showcasing songs from High School Musical and then at 4pm there will be the chance to enjoy a tribute to one of the most successful Eurovision winners – Abba.

Voulez Vous will perform an hour of the Swedish band’s greatest hits, with more entertainment at 6pm in the form of Mac*Busted, peforming a string of hits from McFly and Busted.

At 7pm everyone can get in fine voice with Crowd Karaoke, ready for the show which will begin at 7.45pm and to – hopefully – watch England’s entry Mae Muller sweep to victory.

Karen Dickman, of Port of Call, believes it will be a fantastic day.

“The fact that the Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in the UK makes it even more exciting,” she said.

“And we thought we should really make it something to celebrate for all the family, so we hope that people will turn up throughout the day and really make it an occasion to remember.”

Her words were echoed by Andy Golding.

“Eurovision is really popular and never more so than this year because it’s happening in Liverpool, which makes it feel close to home,” he said.

“We hope we’ve pulled together a programme which has something for everyone and will get us all in the mood to party.”

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, was full of praise for the Park Lane traders for pulling together such a great event.

“We know that Eurovision will be bigger and better than ever this year and we know that many people were disappointed they couldn’t get tickets to see it live in Liverpool,” she said.

“Hopefully this will more than make up for that with such an exciting mix of entertainment which really has something for everyone.”

Marion Dixon, Assistant Director of Regulatory Services at Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this free family focused event.

“There’s a huge amount of excitement around this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and this will be a great opportunity for people to come together and enjoy all the buzz around this fantastic event.”

For more information on the programme on the day visit www.sunderlandbid.co.uk

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