Blackpool Illuminations Guide: A Celebration of Light and Art

by | Dec 6, 2023 | Explore Blackpool

Have you ever witnessed a spectacle that left you in awe, a display so enchanting that it becomes etched in your memory forever? Welcome to the Blackpool Illuminations Festival, renowned as the greatest free light show on earth. For over 140 years, this annual celebration has captivated hearts, drawing visitors from around the world to experience the mesmerizing events. Read our Blackpool Illuminations guide as we dive into the excitement of events and activities that showcase the perfect blend of technology, artistry, and community spirit.

Image source: www.visitblackpool.com

The Essence of Blackpool Illuminations

Blackpool Illuminations traces its roots back to 1879 when it began with just eight electric lamps, symbolizing the town’s progress and resilience. Over the years, it has evolved into a testament to Blackpool’s commitment to artistic expression, featuring cutting-edge light displays that span miles of festoon, larger-than-life tableaux, illuminated trams, Instagrammable features, laser technology, and stunning projection shows. For a deeper dive into the festival, check out Illuminating History.

Switch-On Extravaganza

The highlight of the festival is undoubtedly the Illuminations Switch-On ceremony. Past years have seen celebrities like Robbie Williams, Tim Burton, and Westlife flipping the switch. The 2023 celebration featured music sensation Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who not only performed but also had the honor of triggering four months of spectacular Illuminations. Check out the 2023 Switch-On times to plan your visit accordingly.

Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash

Events and Activities

Light Art Installations: Stroll along the seafront to witness stunning light art installations, from intricate sculptures to interactive exhibits. Don’t miss the adorable Teddies, featuring selfie spots for that perfect photo.

Projection Mapping Shows: Immerse yourself in the magic of projection mapping shows transforming iconic buildings into dynamic canvases. The Blackpool Tower Projections, running from September 1, 2023, to January 1, 2024, promise a captivating display.

Illuminated Tram Tours: Hop aboard the illuminated tram parade for a unique journey through the heart of Blackpool. Adorned with dazzling lights and themes, these trams create a moving spectacle, capturing the essence of the festival.

Interactive Light Gardens: Families and children can explore interactive light gardens featuring tunnels, mazes, and installations designed for hands-on engagement, ensuring a truly inclusive experience for all ages.

Fireworks Finale: As the festival concludes, Blackpool bids farewell with a breathtaking fireworks display, turning the night sky into a canvas of vibrant explosions.

Image source: www.blackpoolheritage.com

Top Tips for an Enjoyable Experience

  • Book a hotel near Blackpool Tower, North Pier, or the City Centre.
  • Visit during the midweek to avoid peak weekend hours.
  • Explore the festival on foot along Blackpool Promenade.
  • Pre-book your illuminated tram tour in advance to secure your spot. Book your illuminated tram tour here.


Visitors to Blackpool are fortunate that whatever their budget, there is a quality establishment to suit every pocket. So whether you are visiting for one night, a short break or a family holiday, you can find manty hotel options in Blackpool to enjoy the best of times. Some hotels even offer winter packages to enjoy holiday season and Blackpool illuminations together. Check out the Winter Stay Offer and Winter Warmer Offer at Bluewaters Hotel, situated on North Promenade in Blackpool. It is one of the popular hotels in Blackpool with indoor swimming pool and on-site parking.

Image source: www.visitblackpool.com

Blackpool Illuminations is a celebration that goes beyond the visual appeal of light displays. It is a testament to the town’s vibrant spirit, artistic creativity, and commitment to providing a magical experience for locals and visitors alike. Add this Blackpool Illuminations guide to your itinerary and as you wander through the illuminated streets, remember that you are not just witnessing a festival; you are becoming a part of a tradition that has stood the test of time and continues to shine brightly, illuminating the way for future generations.

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