December 3, 2010 at 11:47 am
In the city of Blackpool, there is a festival not to be missed by locals and tourists alike, namely the Blackpool Illuminations. Every year in autumn, the Lights Festival will take place from September to November, running for 66 nights. This famous attraction has managed a yearly average of 3 million visitors to the coastal resort along the Fylde Coast of Lancashire, and is indeed a spectacle to behold. The Blackpool Illuminations dated all the way back to 1879, with a renowned individual in charge of turning on the dazzling lights each year. Commonly dubbed as the Artificial Sunshine, the 8 brilliant arc lights were switched on and the entire Promenade enjoyed the brightness for the night. There were at least 100000 people present for the light show back then, but what makes this event so amazing is the fact that the electric light bulb was not even invented yet at the point when the inaugural festival occurred. In May 1912, the entire royal family of Britain made a trip to Blackpool and was greeted with the amazing display of thousands of light bulbs, as a completely new wing known as Princess Parade was officially opened by Princess Louise at the Promenade. The Blackpool Illuminations has never failed to be a major event every year, except during the 2 World Wars in 1914 and 1939 respectively. In fact, the lights were already properly set up and ready to be switched on in 1939, but the festival never took off due to the outbreak of World War 2. Imagine the huge disappointment back then, coupled with the suffering of war time, since it was reported that 22 weeks was required to erect all the lamps, spotlights and floodlights. Today, the cost of all the lighting equipment amounts to around 10 million pounds and they require another 2.4 million pounds to be staged. If you ever pick the right season to visit Blackpool, the Illuminations is definitely not to be missed. On the road, you will be able to see single decker cars spotting various designs remodeled as illuminated trams. You can choose to enjoy the sight by taking a ride in a coach or bus down the road, or even pay for a horse carriage for a more romantic option. Touted as one of the best attractions in the country with no cost incurred, you should always check out the Blackpool Illuminations whenever you are there!