Illuminations are secular Autumn festivals of electric light held in several English cities, towns and villages, in particular:
- Blackpool (1879–present)
- Matlock Bath (1897–present)
- Mousehole (1963–present)
- Sunderland (actually Roker and Seaburn Illuminations), 1937-1959, 1986-90s - 2012-Present.
Blackpool Illuminations run for 66 days each year. They switch on in late August with a star-studded 'Switch On' show and run to early November.
The 2006 Switch On was carried out by Dale Winton and the crowd were entertained by a host of acts including Peter Kay. David Tennant, a previous Doctor Who and past star of the Blackpool (television) television series, switched on the Lights in 2007. New for 2007 are a section outside the Tower called DecoDance, these were designed by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen additionally new Doctor Who illuminations have been erected outside the Dr Who exhibition.
At six miles (9.65 kilometres) long and using over one million bulbs, the Blackpool Illuminations are an awesome spectacle. The Blackpool Illuminations consist of a wide variety of light displays: lasers, neon, light bulbs, fibre optics, searchlights and floodlighting. In 2006, there were more than 500 scenic designs and features. There are set pieces made out of wood studded with light bulbs; the characters and objects portrayed seem to “move” by way of winking lights. Three-dimensional illuminated scenes are also popular. There are over 500 road features attached to lamp posts linked together with festoon lighting. Strings of lights along the structure of buildings pick out landmarks in luminous detail – you can always make out the Blackpool Tower and the Pleasure Beach Blackpool rides in this way.
Morecambe's Illuminations once filled the promenade and gardens with a "spectacular wonderland of light" And in the resort's main park - Happy Mount Park. The lights ran from 1919 until 1996, famous faces such as Roger Moore and Noel Edmonds and even the towns most famous son and his companion, Morecambe and Wise were called upon to switch the Illuminations on for each season.
Although illuminations in there traditional way ended in 1996. Morecambe has continued to have Illumination activity.
In 2015, Callum Henry, set up an ambitious campaign of proposals in which to bring back the illuminations. By 2016 a community Mini-Illuminations project funded by the Big Local National Lottery fund, and hosted by the West Street Exchange and @ShrimpingIt led to the first new Morecambe illuminations for twenty years, with 31 new tableaux designed by members of the Morecambe community and installed for the first time in Alexandra Square on November 30th 2016.
2019 Brings Luminate. A new light and arts based festival which provides opportunity's for the community to not only engage but create light art. The festival will run in October, as a foundation for redeveloped, re imagined light festival in Morecambe inspired by the old Illuminations but in a contemporary new way utilizing indoor and outdoor spaces with local organisations, artists and groups.
- Blackpool Illuminations official website
- Teenagers Dream to bring back Morecambe Illuminations, Morecambe Visitor
- Illuminations Could "Bring Pride" Back to Morecambe, Morecambe Visitor
- Luminate Morecambe Website, Luminate
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