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Brigita Leonaviciute | University of Sunderland

Magazine Journalism BA (Hons)

Sunderland’s Christmas Lights Switch On


I know it’s a bit early to talk about Christmas as there are 40 days left, but me and my friends, we went to see the Christmas lights switch-on in Sunderland last night and I would like to share this experience with you.


I want to confess, I’ve never seen so many people in Sunderland before. It feels EVERYONE living in this town came to see the concert and how the lights are switched on. Or maybe some people just came for shopping as the Bridges shopping centre had extended open hours… The first thing we did as soon as we got there – we went to Starbucks to get some Christmas special coffees. After that we just joined the crowd to watch the concert.  photo.php


It was a very different experience from the one in my country – Lithuania – because usually we have the snow and the weather is five times colder than here.  The Christmas lights switch-on usually takes place in December as well. So we didn’t have to freeze last night while waiting for a big moment, but on the other hand – coldness is part of  the experience.

The whole thing was quite quick as it took only a couple of hours. At the end of the concert Sunderland Mayor Councillor Stuart Porthouse gave a speech and STEPS star Faye Tozer joined him later to switch on the lights that were highlighted in a fireworks display.

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  • Name: Brigita Leonaviciute
  • Age: 22
  • Studying: Magazine Journalism BA (Hons)
  • Hometown: Kaunas, Lithuania
  • Ambitions: My biggest dream is to become a successful journalist. There is no better feeling than the excitement of interviewing people.

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