As the evenings are drawing in, why not make the most of the longer, darker hours and head up to Blackpool’s famous and fabulous lights? The Blackpool Illuminations are truly a sight to behold, especially if you’ve never been.
The 6 mile extravaganza known as the Blackpool Illuminations is alight, with over one million bulbs being used. The attraction, which opened on 30 August, will run until 10 November, making this year’s 73 day-run the longest ever! The dazzling stretch runs from Starr Gate at the southern end, up to Bispham in the north. Putting up the lights is no easy task – it takes around 22 weeks to assemble, and then 9 weeks to remove once the display is over!
The Blackpool Illuminations cost approximately £2.4 million to stage, and the equipment used alone is worth around £10 million. However, the excellent Blackpool Illuminations are more than worth it. Alone, the lights attract over 3 million visitors to the town and these visitors spend over £250 million during their stay – so it’s certainly of massive benefit to the local economy!
Not to mention the fact that the lights keep 45 people in work throughout the year, including Artists, Electricians, Painters, Joiners, Engineers & Mechanics. This hardy crew work all year round to ensure the displays are ready on time, clocking up 65,000 hours between them!
With the first display being held in 1879 when they were described as ‘artificial sunshine’ – this effort consisted of just eight arc lamps! The first display that bore any resemblance to the modern day spectacles, was held in May 1912 to celebrate a visit by the Royal family. This saw the promenade decorated with numerous garland lamps and utilized around 10,000 light bulbs. This was such a success, that the local chamber of trade and other Blackpool business people persuaded the Council to repeat the event in September of that year. Many thousands of people visited and the event was accepted as a massive commercial success.
Ever since then – aside from the war years – the Blackpool Illuminations have gone from strength to strength, culminating in what we see today, which consists of almost every kind of light display you can imagine, including lasers, neon, light bulbs, fibre optics, searchlights and floodlighting. This year’s display will be extra special with the World’s Biggest 3D Holographic Experience, featuring 7 foot tall 3D holograms of zombies, pirates, mermaids and lots more – alongside the 5400 LEDs adorning the now completely refurbished Blackpool Tower. What are you waiting for – grab your coat and gloves and be dazzled by the pretty lights!