Blackpool Illuminations is an annual light festival in Blackpool, England, featuring a dazzling display of lights along the town’s promenade.
It started in 1879 and has grown into a months-long event from late August to early November, this period has now extended due to its polularity.
The displays include various themes, traditional and modern designs, and animations. The event begins with a switch-on ceremony featuring celebrities. The Illuminations boost tourism, have a positive economic impact, and involve the local community. It’s a well-loved tradition that draws visitors and contributes to the town’s identity.
When Is The Blackpool Illuminations Switch On in 2023
The Blackpool Lights switch-on is on the 1st September with a free party for the whole family. Families can enjoy floats featuring favourite characters from Nickelodeon, including Baby Shark, Transformers, and Monsters High, Spongebob, PAW Patrol. Catch them and over 100 dancers and street performers partying down the Golden Mile on September 1.
Altogether 65,000 staff hours are spent on maintenance, preparation, installation, operation and dismantling of the display that promises to wow visitors.
The parade will start at Central Pier and travel to the Tower Festival Headland where the free family party will begin.
Who Is Turning The Lights On This Year?
Sophie Ellis-Bextor, one of the UK’s best-loved music stars is to switch on the 2023 Blackpool Illuminations. Fresh from her appearance on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage and on the back of the release of her brand new studio album, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor will perform on the Tower Festival Headland on Friday 1 September before pulling the switch to trigger four months of Illuminations.
The Grand Finale is a light show that will be synchronised with LED wristbands to be given out to spectators over Blackpool Tower, with a firework display over the seafront.
What Time Is The Blackpool Illuminations Switch on?
The whole event will be free to access with no tickets required. The build-up will commence from 7pm, with the float parade scheduled to start around 7.30pm. The main celebrations on the Tower Festival Headland will take place between approximately 8pm and 9.30pm
When do the Blackpool Illuminations Run Till in 2023/2023
The 2023 Blackpool Illuminations will run from September 1 until January 1, 2024. Obviously, you will need to consider daylight if you choose to visit in September.
Expect to see miles of larger-than-life lighting displays, illuminated trams, laser lights and mindblowing projection shows. Guaranteed to brighten up the winter nights.
Here are our Top Tips for Visiting Blackpool Illuminations
1. Think about how you will see the lights before you arrive. I have a friend who lives in Blackpool, and she advised me to park in Bispham and take a tram down the prom, as driving at peak time can be so busy.
As we arrived in the afternoon, we travelled down to Blackpool Tower and went into the immense Coral Island arcade to kill some time before the lights went on at 5pm. We walked a little way down the front before trying to catch a tram back to Bispham, but they were so busy we ended up walking a couple of stops before a tram stopped that had room to let us on.
If you’re getting the tram, I’d say make sure you get on at either end of the prom and avoid the middle stops at peak times. If you’re going to drive, expect long queues down the sea front.
2. The best lights for little ones are on the Bispham end of the prom, so make sure you spend some time there looking at the big, lit-up scenes before you go home.
3. Wrap up warm as it gets pretty cold and windy as the sun goes down, and even before that it’s usually pretty chilly.
4. Make sure you take plenty of snacks and drinks, especially if you’re taking young children. We struggled to find anywhere to eat on the front, so were glad we’d taken supplies.
5. If you’re going for fish and chips, try Bispham Kitchens. There’s a takeaway and cafe, which my friend who lives round the corner says is a must, with the best cream cakes in town if you still have room.
6. Finally, have fun and relive your childhood a little bit! From our cheesy afternoon there, we certainly came away thinking Blackpool rocks.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.