Blackpool Centenary Illuminations Big Switch On 2012
October 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm
The annual Blackpool Illuminations celebrate one hundred years of lighting up the Blackpool promenade this year on 31 August. The Centenary light displays are set to be the biggest and brightest ever, with a special focus this year on carbon neutrality and going green. According to the Visit Blackpool website, “…there has been a saving of 420 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Using green electricity for the Illuminations has reduced the annual emissions per year to zero,” which is an excellent achievement. The Illuminations have come a long way since the first electric lights in the country were used outdoors and for street lighting in 1879 in Blackpool. Electric lights were so well received that they were known as “artificial sunshine. By 1912 the Blackpool Council decided to hold an annual light festival, now known as The Illuminations, to celebrate the beauty and variety that colourful light displays added to the autumn months. The Illuminations Set To Sparkle In 2012 The Illuminations are switched on each year to much festivity. The 2012 celebrations will be at the Blackpool Tower Headland for the first time, in line with the extensive investment in a state of the art outdoor amphitheatre, the new eco friendly Blackpool Wedding Chapel and the fantastic Comedy Carpet display. Exciting music acts announced for this year include Little Mix, the all girl singing group from X-Factor 2012, Scottish songstress Amy MacDonald, teenage dreamboats Lawson, and the Brit Award winning artist Lamar. The identity of the person who will do the actual switch on is being kept secret until the very last minute. In the past Robbie Williams and Keith Lemmon have done the honours. The Blackpool Centenary Illuminations cover a six mile stretch from Starr Gate to Bispham, past many Blackpool Hotels along the seafront. Traditionally, the lights shine non stop for sixty six nights and include a stunning display of technical artistry. The famous Blackpool Trams also have extra LED light displays and can be seen whizzing down the Tramway at all times of the night and day. The cost of the display is over £2.5 million and the number of visitors attracted to the Illuminations over the period exceeds 3.5 million. The value to tourism in Blackpool is enormous, with an estimated £275 million in revenue, which is pretty good for autumn traders. If you are visiting Blackpool in autumn enjoy the fabulous Centenary Illuminations for 2012 and The Big Switch On.