Giant Pigeons Parade Welcomed by 20,000 in Blackpool
Giant performing pigeons joined more than 20,000 people to welcome the Royal Pigeon Racing Association’s (RPRA) annual show to Blackpool.
This is the 22nd year the RPRA has brought their Homing World Show of the Year to the popular holiday resort.
And as more than 20,000 fanciers gathered at Blackpool Winter Gardens, two giant pigeons were on hand too providing entertainment.
RPRA General Manager Stewart Wardrop works with VisitBlackpool to bring the event to the resort every year.
He said: “This is a massive event in our calendar and it always proves to be hugely popular. Not only have you got the attraction of so many pigeons and fanciers in one place but it also gives our members the opportunity to enjoy a weekend away.
“Blackpool is the perfect host which is why we continue to come year after year.
“The giant pigeons add a fun element to the event and we are delighted they were able to entertain not just fanciers, but the residents and other visitors to Blackpool too.”
Show participants bring more than 2,000 homing pigeons and 1,000 fancy show pigeons making it the largest event of its kind in Europe and this year’s show also includes an exhibition celebrating the incredible work of pigeons during the First and Second World Wars. Hundreds of pigeons were used as a way of carrying messages and many were actually honoured with the PDSA Dickin Medal, the equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
Stewart added: “2014 is such an important year for the whole nation to remember and it was only right that we used this opportunity to highlight the bravery of pigeons too and how incredibly helpful they were in battle.”
The Homing World Show of the Year takes place over three days at Blackpool Winter Gardens with the iconic Empress Ballroom hosting the main event.
Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure, said: “It is wonderful to welcome the RPRA back to Blackpool year after year. This is a great boost to the local economy in the first few weeks of the year and really proves that Blackpool is open all year round.
“In particular, I am delighted the event organisers have been able to mark the importance of pigeons in battle. This is a subject, I am sure, that not many people are too aware of now but it really is truly fascinating just what a difference these birds made to this country.”