Blackpool Illuminations 2011
Blackpool Illuminations every year from September to November the Illuminations arrive in Blackpool, and the autumn skies light up each night with a dazzling array of lighting spectaculars. Perfect for an out of season holiday break, illuminations cast a different hue on this summer seaside town, and the atmosphere transforms into a romantic dreamscape.
Warm up with your autumn scarf and take a stroll along the promenade, soaking up the colours and sounds of fireworks and street carnival atmosphere. To see the switch on this year, Friday September 2nd, make your way to the newly renovated and energised Blackpool Tower attraction, with best viewing spots being from the St Chad’s headland in front. Stand in the shadow of the tower to watch the celebrity Keith Lemon, perform the important duty of turning the switch. Or will it be Leigh Francis who pulls the switch, his alter ego? For the first time, the crowd will be able to view the Illuminations turning on across the whole promenade and beyond.
Always host to big entertainment industry acts, performances this year are sure to entertain and delight you. Pixie Lott, Kian Egan from Westlife, and Joe McEldery are some of the Louis Walsh backed performers, along with his latest band, Wonderland. If you have your teenagers with you, you can always check with them who exactly these people are. Mike and the Mechanics, a bit of doo wop performance by a group called The Overtones and Beverley Knight round out the musical entertainment, all of which is hosted by local radio station, 97.4FM.
The Blackpool Illuminations stretch over six miles from Starr Gate to Bispham. There are over one million lamps and five hundred themed displays. Two hundred lengths of cable support the lights, which hang on fifteen hundred poles and forty tableaux platforms. They will shine non stop for sixty six nights and cost £2.4 million to display. They attract over 3.75 million visitors to Blackpool each year who bring £275 million in tourism to the area. Many of the trams also become illuminated during the season, and you will see them flashing by on every corner you walk around.
In 1879 Blackpool Council spent an astonishing sum for that time, £5,000, on experimenting with the newly invented electric lights. Advertised around England, several thousand came to see this display, which was billed the ‘artificial sunshine’. The Illuminations, as they are now known, was so popular an event, that it has continued to grow in reputation and artistic extravagance each year, and now has its place at the very heart of Blackpool’s traditions