Tyne & Wear

Thousands gather for Sunderland International Airshow

Twister planes
Image caption A display by the Royal Netherlands Air Force kicked off 25th anniversary celebrations on Friday

Organisers of the Sunderland International Airshow expect figures to show record crowds enjoyed the event's 25th anniversary.

More than 300,000 people visited the show on Saturday alone, with up to a million likely to have attended over the three days to Sunday.

Highlights included displays from the RAF Falcons parachute team, the last airworthy Vulcan and the Red Arrows.

Sunderland Council said plans were already under way for the 2014 show.

Crowds who gathered on the city's Seaburn and Roker beaches also saw dramatic rescue demonstrations, parades of vintage aircraft and a display from the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

John Kelly, the council's portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, said: "After 25 years of providing what is regarded as the biggest free airshow in Europe, the challenge is always there to keep the event fresh, exciting, and accessible to as many people as possible."

Airshow director Sue Stanhope said: "It puts the city on the map and continues to attract visitors from near and far."

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