2nd September - 7th November 2006


It's Blackpool's brightest night of the year, and a star-studded line up will appear at the launch of the world famous Blackpool Illuminations on Friday 1st September
Blackpool Tourism and BBC Radio 2 revealed the name of the mystery celebrity who will be flicking the switch in the glittering Illuminations Switch On Ceremony on Friday 1 September 2006 at a special Press Preview. Dale Winton
In front of a crowd of thousands the people’s hero from Bolton Peter Kay will make a personal appearance in the resort of his childhood holidays. Peter Kay
But pulling that famous switch is Dale Winton, face of the National Lottery and BBC Radio 2’s Sunday Afternoon Show Pick of the Pops. Broadcast live from Blackpool, thousands of visitors will be welcomed to the Radio 2 Arena by the evenings host and top BBC DJ Mark Goodier, as he presents the one-off Switch On special show live on air between 8.30pm and 9.30pm.
Joining the already glittering line-up for the live show which includes ex-Boyzone favourite Ronan Keating, local Liverpool outfit The Zutons and emerging singer songwriter Paolo Nutini in the live show line-up are:

Brit and Mercury Award winning Heather Small of M People will be showcasing one of the UK’s most recognisable voices for the crowds at the Radio 2 Arena.

Duncan James switched on the Illuminations with his former boy band Blue back in 2003 and this year returns to Blackpool to perform his new solo single ‘Can’t Stop a River’.

Female recording artist Nerina Pallot, will be visiting Blackpool to perform new single ‘Sophia’ due for release in October. Ronan Keating

Warming up the Switch On crowds before the live Radio 2 show will be X-Factor favourite and cheeky chappie Chico black-and-white outfitted girlband The Revelations, talented local tenor Alfie Boe and star of the Grand Theatres Variety At Night Leanne Fury. Favourite Blackpool comedian Joey Blower will host the warm up show.

The Switch On Arena located at the rear of Coral Island, just off the Promenade will open to the public from 4.00pm with entry strictly on a First Come, First Served basis. A special raised area for wheelchair users in located in the centre of the arena and this again is entry on a first come, first served basis.

Broadcast live from Blackpool, thousands of visitors will be welcomed to the Radio 2 Arena by top BBC DJ Mark Goodier, as he presents a one-off Switch On special show live on air between 8.30pm and 9.30pm

World Fireworks Championships Blackpool

Tourism bosses in Blackpool have announced a line up of International Master Blasters in the return of World Fireworks Championships to the UK’s Number One Resort.

Firework companies from around the globe have been invited to stage pyrotechnical displays, bringing an International flavour to Central Promenade during the opening weeks of Blackpool’s Illuminations season, and Tourism bosses can now reveal the four countries to be represented in the World Fireworks Championships in Blackpool this September are Croatia, Italy, France and China.

Top firework manufacturers will represent their homeland by staging stunning pyrotechnical displays in the skies above Blackpool’s Central Beach during September in a show which should be evocative of the style or tradition of their country.

The first of the free displays is on Sunday 3rd September, with further displays every Friday in September. Each display is free to view, and the fireworks companies will be launching from North Pier, ensuring plenty of space to view each spectacle from Blackpool’s Central Promenade.

The companies chosen to represent their countries are:

Mirnovech Pyrotechnia will open the competition representing their homeland Croatia, on Sunday 3rd September, as part of the Illuminations ‘Big Switch On Weekend’ celebrations.

On Friday 8th September, previous winners Pirotecnica Soldi fire to defend the title they have held since the competition was last held in the resort in 1999, with a display expected to epitomize the romance and passion of Italy.

It is the turn of Apast-Pyro to fly the flag for France on Friday 15th September, as they attempt to outshine their opponents in a glittering display.

The fourth competitors, Vulcan International, will travel all the way from China to stake their claim on the title, with an explosively original display on Friday 22nd September.

British Pyrotechnical experts from Kimbolton Fireworks, who have created displays for many prestigious events including the celebration of the hand over of Hong Kong to China, will mark the close of the competition with a celebratory display on Friday 29th September, during which the winner will be announced.

Each competing company will have to design and launch a display to impress the public, and the judging panel by combining cutting edge pyro-musical design with a style or tradition from their country. Entrants must launch fireworks particular to their homeland and showcase their own pyrotechnical expertise, to win the title.