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If you live in – or near – Blackpool you will know all about the illuminations and the power they have to draw in thousands of visitors every year. However, not everyone is aware of just how amazing these illuminations actually are.

It’s been well over a century since the year when the lights were first switched on, and they show no signs of becoming less popular as time goes by. While there is plenty to keep visitors amused when they arrive in Blackpool, there is no doubt that some people come purely to see the illuminations and nothing else.

The evening when the lights are first switched on has become something of a focal point, and it is customary for someone famous to mark the moment when the whole display can be seen for the first time each year. Some notably famous names have agreed to take on this role over the years, including Anna Neagle in 1949, George Formby in 1953, Terry Wogan in 1978 and Joanna Lumley in 1985. This aspect of the ceremony alone makes it well worth the trip to see the opening of the illuminations.

Contrary to what some people may believe, the illuminations are not kept on all day and all night. They are switched on as the evening gets darker, with the time coming forward each day as the evenings draw in. They are then switched off again between half past eleven and one in the morning. One wonders what the electricity bill would be if they were left on twenty four hours a day, given the fact that more than a million bulbs are used!

While all the individual displays are well worth looking at, it is the overall effect created that really takes your breath away. If you just want to see the illuminations then you should jump on a bus or a tram, but if you want to enjoy the illuminations at your own pace then grab your most comfortable walking shoes and stroll along underneath them for a close up view that cannot be beaten. You might not want to walk the entire length of them though, as they run for an impressive six miles!

Of course there is plenty more to keep you occupied at Blackpool, enabling you to have a great day out before it gets dark and the lights come on for you to marvel at. One of the most famous places to visit is the Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and there are certainly plenty of rides and attractions to keep you entertained here.

Make sure you get a Blackpool Destination Guide to help you plan your trip more effectively, so you can enjoy your stay in Blackpool to the fullest extent.

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