The Voice star Chloe Castro sent the city spinning into festive cheer last night when she turned on the Christmas lights at Keel Square.
The County Durham singer was popular on the BBC1 hit show earlier this year but unfortunately had to quit in the quarter finals due to health reasons.
Families who gathered to see the bright lights were treated to a performance from the talented young vocalist which included impressive covers of Ed Sheeran, Sia and a unique rendition of ‘Santa Baby’ to get everyone in the yuletide spirit
Earlier in the night the crowd enjoyed performances from Hetton Lyons Primary School Choir and Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary School Choir. Irish girl group The Songbirds also performed at the event.
Olympic medallist Steve Cram OBE took to the stage to urge people to join up for next year’s Sunderland half marathon and was helped with a pre-recorded video message from Paula Radcliffe MBE.
Faye Tozer and Amy-Leigh Hickman stars of this year’s pantomime Sleeping Beauty were interviewed on stage before being joined on stage by Chloe Castro and the Mayor of Sunderland Alan Emerson for the final ceremony.
The Mayor addressed the event as ‘marking the start of Christmas in Sunderland’ and a ‘highlight of the year’s calendar’. He also thanked all those involved in the event saying that “they’ve helped provide us with an early selection box” and added that Sunderland has a lot to look forward to in 2017.
The button was pushed to turn on the lights before the crowd was treated to a spectacular firework display.