The Illuminations Switch-On party is the biggest, brightest night in Blackpool’s calendar, and this year's celebration on September 1 delivered a spectacular experience in a brand new format. The best part? It was back outdoors and free for everyone to attend!
The Switch-On moment, the first to be held outdoors since 2019, marked the finale of a spectacular free event which included a Nickelodeon float parade, featuring the stars of the world’s favourite children’s TV channel, live entertainment, a light show on The Blackpool Tower and a fireworks finale.
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A spectacular procession along the Golden Mile showcased the beloved characters from the world's most popular children's TV channel.
Starting from Central Pier, the parade featured larger-than-life characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Baby Shark, Monsters High and Transformers. They were joined by around 100 dancers, musicians and street performers as they made their way to the Tower Festival Headland for a free family party.
Among the performers in the grand parade were Lancashire’s own 2nd Rossendale Scout Group Band, a hugely talented group of young musicians who have performed all over the UK, including an appearance at Windsor Castle in front of the Queen.
One of the UK’s best-loved music stars switched 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 performed on the Tower Festival Headland on Friday 1 September before pulling the switch to trigger four months of Illuminations.
Free entertainment, light show and fireworks
More celebrations followed when The Blackpool Tower burst into life with a specially-commissioned sound and light show that was synchronised with LED wristbands given out to spectators, topped off with a fireworks finale over the seafront.
The Switch-On ceremony marked the start of the annual Illuminations display, which will shine nightly from September 1, 2023, to January 7, 2024.
Please note that there will be live filming and photography at this event. Any pictures provided maybe used by VisitBlackpool for promotional purposes. If you do not wish to be included, please contact VisitBlackpool Web Team.
Header image: James Maloney/Lancs Live