Blackpool Illuminations will run for an extra two months in 2021 – with the festival of lights set to remain on display beyond New Year’s Eve.
The seaside town’s popular tourist attraction is usually held between late August and early November, but was extended by an extra eight weeks in 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions scuppered visits and lowered footfall.
On Wednesday, tourist organisation VisitBlackpool confirmed that the illuminations season will run a longer edition for the second successive year.
The official light switch-on will take place on Friday 3 September 2021; brightening the skies until Monday 3 January, 2022.
VisitBlackpool has also confirmed that this year’s illuminations will be complemented by a ‘significantly enhanced, resort-wide Christmas offer’, with details due to be announced in the coming weeks.
Organisers stated the extension was being made to give the seaside town’s hard-hit tourism industry an essential boost, with the pandemic expected to cause continued disruption throughout the first half of 2021.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture for Blackpool Council, said: “Although last year’s extension was disrupted by tier restrictions and a second lockdown, all of the evidence showed that there was a huge appetite for the public to visit the Illuminations in a safe and enjoyable way.
“We know from the all of the positive feedback that we received that, amid so much gloom, the Illuminations provided a much-needed tonic to so many people.
“We are making this decision early so that our businesses can start to plan for the extended season. At the same time, we are planning a comprehensive package of themed shows, events and attractions to give visitors plenty of reasons to come to Blackpool over the festive season.”
A number of events have already been announced for Blackpool’s winter programme, including Friends Festive Live at the Winter Gardens in November and Strictly judge Shirley Ballas starring in a Cinderella panto at the Opera House in December.
Last year, Blackpool’s famous light switch-on event was replaced for the first time in 70 years – presented as a virtual show in association with MTV.
For more information on the Blackpool Illuminations 2021 season, head over to the VisitBlackpool website.