Two of the BBC show’s professional dancers will officially open this year’s Christmas By The Sea village on Friday 18 November – the eve of the much-anticipated return of Strictly Come Dancing to the world-famous Tower Ballroom.
Neil Jones and Katya Jones will open the skating rink accompanied by children from the Blackpool Ice Drome Charities Association (BIDCA) who will perform short excerpts from Peter Pan – A Magical Adventure On Ice and Hairspray.
The opening event will take place at 5.30pm on the Tower Festival Headland (opposite The Blackpool Tower) which is being transformed into a winter wonderland for the second year running.
With the free-to-use skating rink as its centrepiece, the village also includes festive light installations and projection shows, themed log cabins, artificial snowfalls, Christmas trees and Christmas tram rides. The village, which will operate until Monday 2 January, will also see themed children’s attractions and the return of the Star Flyer which, at 260ft tall, is one of Europe’s tallest swing rides.
Visitors to the village will also get the opportunity to experience Odyssey, the largest 3D installation ever produced for the Illuminations display. Co-created by international designer Jack Irving and a team from Lancaster University, the installation stands 11metres high and comprises six towers that are combined with state-of-the-art technology to create an immersive and interactive projection show themed on undiscovered creatures lurking in the depths of the deep sea.
The Blackpool Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID), which represents scores of tourism operators, has joined forces with sponsors TalkTalk, along with partners Blackpool Council and VisitBlackpool, to ensure the event can go ahead during the extended Illuminations season. Last year, Christmas By The Sea delivered the highest visitor numbers ever recorded on the seafront during the winter months.
The seafront village is just part of a resort-wide festive programme which includes attractions, grottos, late night shopping and a special discounted parking offer giving three hours of parking for just £1 on most Blackpool Council car parks.
There is also a fantastic range of Christmas shows and entertainment on offer across the resort including:
Elf The Musical: The hit Broadway and West End show based on the Hollywood blockbuster movie will bring some Christmas cheer to the Winter Gardens Opera House with a sleigh full of laughs from December 15 to 26.
Don’t be caught napping! Sleeping Beauty is the show of the season at Blackpool Grand Theatre from December 2 to January 1, featuring Dancing On Ice Champion Hayley Tamaddon and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Steve Royle.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach will stage a production of ‘Cinderella: The Pantomime’ from November 26 to December 24. Get ready for a Christmas cracker full of family fun with their fantastic festive production. You shall go to the pantomime this Christmas!
Following on from Viva’s hit Santa’s Magical Workshop Christmas production last year, head to VIVA Blackpool for The Santa Adventure from December 17 to 24 and enjoy an afternoon of festive fun as Santa’s crazy elf helps Santa on a whirlwind adventure.
Alternatively, if panto isn't your thing but you love a good laugh, check out High Jinx's Illusion Show at The Blackpool Tower Circus, open on selected dates throughout the festive season.
Kate Shane, Chair of the TBID Management Group, said:
Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, added:
Ben Cooper, Head of Marketing from TalkTalk said: