Visit Blackpool

Circus 250

Roll up, roll up! Blackpool named as City of Circus 2018

2018 marks a very special anniversary: 250 years of circus in the UK. And where better to celebrate than in the home of the world-famous Blackpool Tower Circus?

Blackpool is one of six towns and cities across the country specially chosen to help celebrate the milestone.

Although it can’t claim to have been around for 250 years, the circus, set in an opulent Matcham-designed interior at the base of The Blackpool Tower, first appeared in 1894 and has never missed a season.

The Blackpool Tower Circus has evolved into an animal-free circus over the decades and now showcases some of the finest circus talent in the world.

The 2018 season will see another spectacular show starring the inimitable Mooky The Clown.  To mark the significant impact that the Endresz family have made to the town over 27 years of stellar entertainment, VisitBritain have made this fantastic short film to celebrate. 


What else is happening? 

There is lots of circus-related activity happening across Blackpool in 2018, keep checking back here for updates!

The Blackpool Tower 'Week of Circus' (Commencing 9 July)

Roll up, roll up and join us for a whole week of circus activity to celebrate Circus250 including The Blackpool Tower Circus Parade with artists, performers and schools taking part in a one-off parade along Blackpool’s Promenade. There will be a spectacular Blackpool Tower Circus Gala Performance, circus skills workshops and a talk from Circus Director, Laci Endresz about his family, life and love of circus. There will also be a Blackpool Tower Circus Exhibition featuring costumes and memorabilia, plus lots more.

Grundy Art Gallery Circus Exhibition

In Circus’s 250th anniversary year, Grundy Art Gallery’s Summer programme will deliver a series of separate, yet interconnected exhibitions that take the history, themes, ideas and images of Circus as their starting point.

The Regent Cinema Blackpool's Circus Showings! (21 July 19:30 - 22:00)

Join The Regent Cinema for a circus double bill! This stunning, art deco cinema will screen Laurel and Hardy's The Chimp, where two bumbling circus performers drive the circus to ruin, ending up with a flea circus and chimp. Charlie's Chaplin's The Circus will also be screened, where Charlie Chaping unwittingly ducks into a Big Top, where his bumbling attempts to avoid pursuing police officers earn the laughter and applause of the circus-goers.

Circus250 will be celebrated in the Blackpool Illuminations

Blackpool Illuminations has been lighting up Blackpool’s famous promenade for over 130 years, attracting over 3.5 million visitors each year.  As part of this year’s Blackpool Illuminations and the contemporary LightPool experience, Circus250 will be featured in the creation of a Big Top style of festoon lighting with Circus250 lightboxes. Furthermore, a Circus250 themed show will be projected onto the world-famous Blackpool Tower building nightly during the Illuminations display.

Circus Fun at Blackpool Pleasure Beach! 

Blackpool Pleasure Beach has some great circus activity taking place across the year! On 7 July during the late night riding and fireworks event will feature circusthemed performances next to the Grand National and a screening of The Greatest Showman from 19:00. 

Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Hot Ice show 
may have a reputation as one of the world’s stunning ice shows, and amongst the amazing skating there is also a fantastic example of circus skills. Alexei Kofanov brings something completely different to the show with his amazing silks and pole performances, all done in a bath, and a bed, on the ice.

As the weather cools, the ghouls come out to play! The Circus of Horrors returns to Blackpool on 26 October. This show boasts bizarre and fantastic circus acts woven into a sensational shock-horror story and the darkest of magic – not to mention the big laughs!

Wordpool Family Day (7 July 13:00 - 16:00)

Blackpool's annual and hugely popular literary festival family fun day will be circus-themed for 2018!

It's a Woolly Circus!

To celebrate Circus250 celebrations in Blackpool, local wool and haberdashery emporium, Mrs Johnson’s, have created a Big Top of knitted circus characters.  Featuring strongmen, acrobats, trapeze artists and more, take a look at what can be created from stitching away!  You can view the wonderful Big Top and the woolly characters in the emporium window up to July.

The Clowns

The Ringmasters

The Acrobats

Numerous comic characters have taken to the ring since 1894, entertaining children and adults alike. Today Mooky the Clown and his sidekick , Mr Boo, are the stars of the show and deliver belly-laughs aplenty with their hilarious slapstick antics.
Over the past 120 years, a number of men and women have been lucky enough to hold the prestigious title ‘Tower Circus Ringmaster’. Two of the most notable being legends George Lockhart and Norman Barrett.
Well-respected artistes are known to travel from all over the world to perform their breath-taking stunts in the Blackpool Tower Circus. It has been said that performing here is considered to be the pinnacle of a Circus artiste’s career.