Martin Gardner posted on Dec 8 2021

Blackpool’s annual Illuminations display is to be extended by two months for a third consecutive year, it was announced today.

Next year’s Illuminations season will now start on Friday 2 September and run until Monday 2 January, 2023.

Blackpool Council said it had made the decision after the first month of this year’s extension showed exceptional growth in visitor numbers with key indicators such as parking usage was more than double the volume experienced pre-pandemic.

Although the Illuminations were extended for the first time in history last year, the final part of the year was heavily disrupted by tier restrictions and lockdowns.

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This year, for the first time we have been able to have a clear run and assess what impact the extension of the Illuminations is having on those months that are traditionally quiet.

“What we have witnessed over the first four weeks of November has been very significant activity across the resort and significantly better than our expectations.

“The introduction of a greatly-enhanced Christmas offer to complement the extended Illuminations season has added further weight to the argument that with the right product, Blackpool is extremely well-placed to become a year-round destination.”

The extension of the Illuminations season was first introduced last year to give the resort’s tourism industry an added boost after the pandemic created severe disruption over the first few months of the year.

It was repeated this year as part of a £1m Council-led investment in marketing and events to help kick-start Blackpool’s tourism recovery plans.

Cllr Williams added: “We are making this decision early so that our businesses can start to plan for the extended season next year. We know from the extensive feedback we have received to date that the investment we have made in the autumn and winter months is delivering a significant benefit.”

This year has seen Blackpool’s most ambitious winter offer with a Christmas By The Sea village on the Tower Festival Headland with a free-to-use skating rink, magic forest, log cabins, artificial snowfalls, light installations and themed projection shows.

Alongside the village is the Star Flyer, Europe’s largest aerial ride and a short distance away is the Winter Gardens Wonderland with indoor and outdoor festive market stalls, virtual reality experiences, and funfair rides.

The Christmas programme is complemented by the extended Illuminations season which sees the famous lights shining every night until January 3. On selected dates throughout the period, many of the resort’s major attractions will be open.

The resort will also be inviting families to say “goodbye” to 2021 and get ready to say “hello” to 2022 with a celebratory fireworks display that will take place late afternoon on the Tower Festival Headland on New Year’s Eve.

The free fireworks display, which will be launched around 5pm on December 31 from the beach in front of The Blackpool Tower, will create a stunning finale to end the year.

Photo credit Visit Blackpool