Posted on: Wednesday 14th June 2023

The greatest light show on Earth returns to Blackpool this September, and work has already begun on making it the incredible spectacle that everyone should see at least once in their lifetimes.


The six miles of amazing light displays and installations officially open on Friday 1 September, where families, children and adults can be blown away by more than a million magical lights to amaze and entertain all the way up the Promenade.


Once again, there will be two extra months added to the Illuminations, taking it right up until the new year, to allow more people to witness the festoons, larger-than-life tableaux, heritage trams decked out in lights, instagrammable features, laser shows and projections throughout autumn and winter.


Following the launch of the giant Odyssey installation in 2022, the Illuminations manufacturing team are working on three brand-new light installations for the coming season.


Once again, the grand Switch-On ceremony will be held outdoors, after three years of being held indoors due to pandemic restrictions, so everyone can come and join the party!


This year there will also be the Nickelodeon Grand Parade along the Golden Mile, a spectacular float parade that will feature the superstars of the world’s favourite children’s TV channel, to help mark the start of the Illuminations season in style!


The Switch-On celebrations will begin with a larger-than-life float parade featuring SpongeBob Squarepants and his friends, the pups of PAW Patrol, Baby Shark, Transformers, and Monsters High, all accompanied along the seafront by marching bands and dancers.


The parade will start at Central Pier, and head north up the Promenade towards the Tower Festival Headland, passing Coral Island along the way, so you can enjoy the fun of the arcade and take advantage of our amazing Kids Eat Free offer, without worrying about missing all your favourite TV characters as they pass!


At the Tower Festival Headland, the celebrations continue with a free family party, complete with live music and family entertainment, all leading up to the grand finale and the iconic celebrity Switch-On of the Lights. This will be followed by a Nickelodeon-themed light show on The Blackpool Tower and a burst of fireworks.


The whole event will be free to access with no tickets required.


Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Last year, though the Switch-On was staged in front of a limited audience in the Tower Ballroom, thousands of people gathered on the Tower Festival Headland to watch it on a screen, and the previous year even when there was no screen.


“We know how much this celebration means to residents and visitors alike – and we are determined that this year everyone will get a chance to see the Switch-On moment and enjoy what promises to be a fantastic free party.


“Blackpool has a special relationship with Nickelodeon through their long partnership with Blackpool Pleasure Beach and through their involvement in live shows including SLIMEFEST and previous Switch-On events. We are thrilled that they will be bringing more of their magic to the biggest night in Blackpool’s events calendar.”


Lee Sears, EVP and GM of Events, Digital, Ad Sales & Integrated Marketing at Paramount Global, said: “We are excited to bring the Nickelodeon-themed parade in its full splendour along Blackpool’s Golden Mile and to produce a spectacular evening of live entertainment to celebrate the Illuminations Switch-On in association with Nickelodeon.”


Last year, the Illuminations were switched on by the legendary comedian Johnny Vegas, known for his many TV shows and appearances, such as Benidorm, Shooting Stars, Sunday Brunch, Still Open All Hours, and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and is also the voice of Nigel C Gull, part of the Only In Blackpool TV ad campaign.


There will be more details about the parade, live entertainment, and who will be switching on this year’s Illuminations soon, and we will be sure to let everyone know when their identity is revealed!


Of course, Coral Island will be open every day throughout the Illuminations season (except for Christmas Day), so no matter the weather, you can come and play all our fantastic games in the arcade, win tickets and claim gifts and souvenirs at the biggest and best Prize Shop in Blackpool, and take a trip on our amazing indoor rides!


And if you’re looking to keep the family fed during your visit, then Kids Eat Free in Coral Island’s participating restaurants - just look for the yellow Kids Eat Free stickers, no vouchers needed! Children under 10 can receive a free kid’s meal with each paid adult meal, giving you even more value for money at the largest free admission attraction in town!

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