Blackpool Illuminations, also known locally as The Lights or The Illuminations is an annual Lights Festival, held each autumn in the English seaside resort of Blackpool on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire.
This festival runs for sixty-six days, from late August until early November at a time when most other English seaside resorts’ seasons are coming to an end.
Dubbed as “The greatest free light show on earth”, the 10 kilometers long and using over one million bulbs the Blackpool Illuminations are an awesome spectacle. The display stretches along the Promenade from Starr Gate at the south end of the town to Bispham in the north.
At the heart of the illuminations is the Blackpool Tower, which is adorned with thousands of flickering lamp bulbs as seen in photos below.
The Lights are expected to attract more than 3.5 million visitors to Blackpool.
You might be please to know that Blackpool Illuminations use only green electricity from renewable resources comprising of wind, small-scale hydro, landfill and Bio-Gas.
History of Blackpool Illuminations :
The Illuminations first shone in 1879 when they were described as ‘Artificial sunshine’, and consisted of just eight Arc lamps which shone the Promenade.
However the first display similar to the modern day displays was held in May 1912 to mark the opening of a new section of promenade by Princess Louise.
During that time about 10,000 lights were festooned along the promenade.
The light were such a huge success that the following September Blackpool Chamber of Commerce were persuaded to stage the ´Illuminations´ this was the beginning of Blackpool Illuminations.
Blackpool Illuminations Dates in 2017 :
Blackpool Illuminations start in 2017 from Friday, 1st September 2017 and will continue till Sunday, 5th November 2017.
Blackpool Illuminations Switch On 2017 :
The Big Switch On is basically the opening ceremony of the Blackpool Illuminations. Every year, on the opening night of the Illuminations, The Big Switch On ceremony is done by celebrity who pulls a switch to turn on the six miles of lights.
2017 will mark the 105th year since the Blackpool Illuminations first started.
The name of the celebrity who will switch on this year’s Blackpool Illuminations is yet to be announced.
What Happens During Blackpool Illuminations :
The Blackpool Illuminations consist of almost every kind of light display that you can imagine: lasers, neon, light bulbs, fibre optics, searchlights and floodlighting.
In 2011 there were more than 500 scenic designs and features.
Blackpool Tramway that runs along the entire length of the Illuminations are also illuminated.
During the Blackpool Illuminations Blackpool hosts a multitude of attractions, shows on the piers, theatres and the Pleasure Beach.
Each year in conjunction with the Illuminations the Blackpool Festival of Light, a fusion of art and light events and installations, is staged.