Category Archives: Christmas & New Year 2021

Blackpool hoteliers relief as New Year’s Eve saved

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Saving New Year’s Eve is a massive boost to Blackpool’s hotel industry – with one hotelier warning without it he would have had to lay off most of his staff in January.

 

Hundreds of thousands of pounds already spent on pre-ordered food and drinks would also have gone to waste if Covid restrictions had meant celebrations were cancelled.

But the resort is now heading full steam into welcoming in 2022 – with events including a free New Year’s Eve fireworks display in front of the Tower still going ahead.

The family-orientated display starts at 5pm at the Christmas-by-the-sea village on the Tower Festival Headland where the free ice rink will also be open.

New Year's celebrations will go ahead in Blackpool including at the Winter by the Sea Village

New Year’s celebrations will go ahead in Blackpool including at the Winter by the Sea Village

It comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed on Monday no new Covid-19 restrictions would be announced for England ahead of the New Year.

Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said: “New Year’s Eve is huge for Blackpool because it is the last burst of trade before Easter.

“So the fact it can go ahead is a massive relief for hoteliers in the town. They have already spent a lot of money investing in New Year’s Eve because they have had to pre-order all their food, drinks and even the party poppers.

“The uncertainty meant we have had a lot of guests ringing up to ask us what was happening. I had to say I only knew as much as they did.

“There have been some cancellations because some people have got worried as infection rates have risen.

“But lots of people are still coming to Blackpool and will spend a lot of money because they want to eat, drink and have a good time.

“It’s also important the rest of the hospitality industry in the town is open, because not all the hotels put on their own entertainment, so our guests might have cancelled if bars or nightclubs had to close.

“And many people are booked in for up to five nights, or for the whole Christmas and New Year, so to lose bookings would really hit have hit hard.”

Tony Banks, who owns The Ruskin Hotel on Albert Road where he employs 84 staff, said it was vital New Year had been saved.

He said: “It has probably saved most of our staff’s job for January. The whole thing was on a knife edge.

“Had we lost Christmas and New Year it would have been absolutely devastating. It would have left no cash flow for January.

“The rooms which were cancelled have now been rebooked by other people, and we have all our additional cleaning procedures in place to provide a safe environment.

“Due to the way the bank holidays have fallen, we had to pre-order all our New Year’s Eve food before Christmas and I’ve got £14,000 worth of food arriving.

“If restrictions had been brought in, it would have been a massive loss. Each time we locked down we lost over £10,000 of beer which had to go down the drain.”

 

 

Blackpool’s Big Ryan out delivering gifts for Christmas

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Prolific Blackpool fundraiser Big Ryan Smith took on a Santa role by dropping off presents for families in need across the resort.

 

Ryan, 36, of Harrowside, was joined by pals who helped him deliver the gifts, including toys donated by businessman Spencer Brown, of Gold Star Promotions.

Ryan dropped off the presents and items of food at addresses where families are struggling.

He said: “We just wanted to make sure that kids who may not get much on Christmas Day may have a bit extra.

Big Ryan with some of the goods ready to be delivered before Christmas.

Big Ryan with some of the goods ready to be delivered before Christmas.

“I’d like to thank everyone who helped me, including Spencer Brown and my mates.”

Helping Ryan deliver the goodies were pals Tony Wilson, Mark Alder.

Meanwhile another pal, Martin Hudson, donated some mince pies and chocolates when Big Ryan also dropped off festive goodies at the Harbour mental health unit in Blackpool.

Ryan added: “If you help to cheer people up, it cheers you up too.”

 

 

These are the pubs in Blackpool that will be open for a pre-dinner pint on Christmas Day 2021

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A trip to the pub on Christmas Day is a tradition that goes back generations.

 

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a festive pint with family or friends in front of a roaring fire at your local before heading home to enjoy Christmas dinner.

So if you are planning a brisk walk to a pub near you, we’ve done some of the leg work and confirmed which pubs will be open on the big day.

If you run a pub that will be open on Christmas Day and would like the details to included here, email colin.ainscough@jpimedia.co.uk

These are the pubs in Blackpool that will be open for a pre-dinner pint on Christmas Day 2021

These are the pubs in Blackpool that will be open for a pre-dinner pint on Christmas Day 2021

Here are the pubs in Blackpool that have confirmed they will be open on Christmas Day:

Boars Head

Boars Head, 38 Preston Old Road, Blackpool FY3 9PL – Open 12pm-3pm & 8pm to Midnight.

Scruffy Murphy’s

Scruffy Murphy’s, 32 Corporation Street, Blackpool FY1 1EJ – Open 11am to 2pm.

Molloy’s

Molloy’s, 23 Talbot Road, Blackpool FY1 1LB – Open 10am to 3pm, drinks from £2.15 per pint.

The Bridge

The Bridge, 124 Lytham Road, Blackpool FY1 6DZ – Open 11am to 1am, with entertainment from 3pm.

Garlands

Garlands, 69-71 Talbot Road, Blackpool FY1 1LL – Open 11am to 3am, with entertainment from 3pm.

The Corner House

The Corner House, 80 Sherbourne Road, Blackpool FY1 2PQ – Open 10am to 3pm.

Ma Kellys North

Ma Kellys North – 77 Talbot Rd, Blackpool FY1 1LL – Open 11am – 3am.

Ma Kellys South

Ma Kellys South – 235-237 Lytham Rd, Blackpool FY1 6ET – Open 12pm – Midnight.

The New Albert

The New Albert – 215 Lytham Rd, Blackpool FY1 6ET – Open 10am – 2pm.

Uncle Toms Sports Bar

Uncle Toms Sports Bar – 44-46 Queen’s Promenade, Blackpool FY2 9RW – Open 11am – 4pm.

No.3 Sports Bar

No.3 Sports Bar – 3 Devonshire Rd, Blackpool FY3 9BW – Open 12pm – 4pm.

 

 

Head to Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion for all the best-loved panto shenanigans of Sleeping Beauty

Home | Blackpool Gazette

It’s panto time at Lowther Pavilion and what a festive treat they have in store.

 

When the beautiful Princess awakes on her 16th birthday she has the whole world at her feet; her loving father the King, her best friend Muddles, a handsome Prince she’s madly in love with and a life full of adventure ahead of her… but the wicked and jealous Carabosse has other ideas and curses her to sleep for 100 years!

Join the cast of Lowther Pavilion’s Christmas panto Sleeping Beauty and head deep in the tangled forest for this fantastical tale full of fairies, dragons, bravery and enchantment.

Featuring all of the best-loved panto shenanigans with an abundance of laughter, dance and music along with dazzling scenery and costumes, spectacular special effects and plenty of audience interaction, this is the perfect Christmas treat. Runs until December 30. www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk

Sleeping Beauty runs at Lowther Pavilion until December 30

Sleeping Beauty runs at Lowther Pavilion until December 30

New Year’s Eve in Lancashire 2021: Best events, fireworks displays and parties to celebrate the start of 2022

Home | Blackpool Gazette

There’s no doubt 2021 has been another challenging year, so what better way to say “good riddance” than a New Year’s Eve celebration and with it – hopes of a brighter and better 2022.

 

Here are some of the planned events taking place across Lancashire on New Year’s Eve …

New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball – Bell & Bottle, Blackpool Road – Preston

Click here for details.

Are you heading out this New Year's Eve?

Are you heading out this New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve Northern Soul and Motown Party – Blackpool Winter Gardens

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Family Party – Blackpool Winter Gardens

Click here for details.

Put on your dancing shoes

Put on your dancing shoes

The Minstrel New Years Eve Party – Chorley

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner Party – Imperial Banqueting – Preston

Click here for details.

Say goodbye to another tough year!

Say goodbye to another tough year!

Blackpool New Years Eve Fireworks – Comedy Carpet, Tower Festival Headland, Promenade – Blackpool

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Ceilidh – The Centre @ Halton, Low Road, Halton – Lancaster

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party @ Hobbit Hill – Stonyhurst – Clitheroe

Click here for details.

James Bond 007 Party New Year’s Eve – Queen’s Square – Poulton-le-Fylde

Click here for details.

A Very Goth New Year’s Eve with The Gothmariner – The Alhambra Theatre – Morecambe

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – The Talbot – Euxton

Click here for details.

Sapphires New Year’s Eve Show and Celebrations – Blackpool

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – Rose & Crown – Chorley

Click here for details.

Blou Presents New Year’s Eve – Riva Showbar – Preston

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – Funny Girls – Blackpool

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – Hoggs N Heifers – Lancaster

Click here for details.

Ska Face – Station Pub and Grill – Lytham

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – The New Philly Family Bar – Blackpool

Click here for details.

Best Western Higher Trapp Country House Hotel New Year’s Eve Party – Simonstone – Burnley

Click here for details.

Parkfield Labour Club – live music with Flash Floods – Ashton-on-Ribble – Preston

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve at The Showboat – Ma Kellys Showboat & Uncle Tom’s Sports Bar – Blackpool

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – Charnock Richard Football Club – Chorley

Click here for details.

Rivington Brewing Co Present New Years Eve On The Farm – Chorley

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Warhol Ball – Revolution Blackpool – Blackpool

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Family Party – Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa – Blackburn

Click here for details.

 

 

Blackpool man’s garden transformed into Christmas wonderland for cancer charity

Home | Blackpool Gazette

To call Michael Smith’s front garden in Blackpool a Christmas winter wonderland would be no exaggeration.

 

Michael Smith with his Christmas decorations outside his home in North Shore

Michael Smith with his Christmas decorations outside his home in North Shore

Michael, 37, has collected illuminated figures from all over the world to transform his garden on Warbreck Drive, North Shore, into an outdoor celebration of Christmas.

And he is hoping the display, featuring 14 large items, can help raise some well-needed funds for Cancer Research UK.

The collection includes a 7ft teddy bear sent over from Japan, a drummer and Colonel in scarlet, green and gold uniforms, all the way from America and a reindeer from Germany.

Michael Smith with his Santa an soldier figures

Michael Smith with his Santa an soldier figures

There are also two red and gold-uniformed trumpeters acquired from Edinburgh and two giant red and white candy canes, one of the 11ft high and the other nine ft, purchased from a travelling circus in Chorley.

He also has a jolly Santa figure, bought from the Dalmeny Hotel in St Annes, and not forgetting Michael’s home-made Grinch sitting on his roof!

The display also includes a recording of Christmas carols.

Michael, an activities coordinator for a residential care unit in Fleetwood, said: “I have always loved Christmas and I have been collecting things for the past decade.

Santa flanked by two soldiers

Santa flanked by two soldiers

“Every year I try and add something new to the collection and I’ve ended up buying some brilliant things from all over the world.

“I must have spent around £10,000 over the years but it has been money well spent – people tell me how much it cheers them up when they go past the house.”

Some of the objects are so huge it is impossible for Michael to store them in his house and friends keep them for him in their garages.

Michael, who is originally from north London and has lived in Blackpool for 14 years, says he is keen to help Cancer Research for person reasons.

Not forgetting the Grinch on the roof! Photos: Dan Martino, Blackpool Gazette

Not forgetting the Grinch on the roof! Photos: Dan Martino, Blackpool Gazette

He said: “One of my best friends, Christine Cowen, died of cancer and I saw what a horrible illness is it.

“I was told recently that as little as £30 can provide dialysis for a cancer patient, so if I can raise £200 from this display, it will go to good use.”

After Christmas is over the display will be packed a way until it is time for the next show.

But before Christmas 2022 there will be Michael’s other display – his grand Halloween collection!

He said: “I’ll soon be planning for that one next!”

 

 

Fylde Coast Radio On Blackpool’s Golden Mile

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The famous Golden Mile on Blackpool seafront is filled with the sounds of Christmas – and it’s all thanks to a team of local presenters.

Main image for Fylde Coast Radio article

Fylde Coast Radio and some of its team of more than 40 presenters have been stationed on the Comedy Carpet every night since the Illuminations were switched on in early September.

They are now an integral part of the Christmas By The Sea village which sits in the shadow of The Blackpool Tower and includes a free skating rink, light projections, snowfalls, log cabins, a forest of illuminated trees and Magical Express tram rides.

The team are in the village every night from 5pm until 10pm until Monday 3 January, entertaining the crowds, taking dedications and creating some very festive singalong moments!

The local presenters include Lindsey Notts, Jason Alan, Spencer Shackleton, Anthony Mason, Anton Kay, Norman Sane, Mighty Mike Brailsford, Don K, and Rockman Jay Jackson.

A VisitBlackpool spokesperson said: “Fylde Coast Radio have added an extra dimension to the Illuminations season and particularly so since the opening of our Christmas By The Sea village where they have brought the sounds of the festive season to the promenade.

“It all makes for a wonderful family atmosphere in a unique seafront location.

This year has seen Blackpool’s most ambitious winter offer with the creation of the Christmas By The Sea village on the Tower Festival Headland.

Alongside the village is the Star Flyer, Europe’s largest aerial ride and a short distance away is the Winter Gardens Wonderland with indoor and outdoor festive market stalls, virtual reality experiences, and funfair rides.

The Christmas programme is complemented by the extended Illuminations season which sees the famous lights shining every night until January 3. On selected dates throughout the period, a number of the resort’s major attractions will be open.

The resort will also be inviting families to say “goodbye” to 2021 and get ready to say “hello” to 2022 with a celebratory fireworks display that will take place late afternoon on the Tower Festival Headland on New Year’s Eve.

The free fireworks display, which will be launched around 5pm on December 31 from the beach in front of The Blackpool Tower, will create a stunning finale to end the year.

Note: Parts of the Christmas season and fireworks display are weather-dependent. Check out the visitblackpool.com website for updates.

New Year’s Eve Family Fireworks and some elements of Christmas By The Sea are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

 

 

 

The Frost Fairies Coming To Blackpool Tower

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Two talented brothers have adapted a children’s fairy story and turned it into a magical projection show on the front of The Blackpool Tower.

Matt and Rob Vale’s company, Illuminos, was specially commissioned to create a festive show as part of the resort’s Christmas By The Sea experience on the Tower Festival Headland.

The result is a beautiful adaptation of The Frost Fairies, based on an original tale by Margaret T Canby. In it, King Frost tasks his fairies with taking his hoard of precious jewels and treasure to Father Christmas to be used as gifts for children. Along the way, they hide the jars of jewels in trees when they pause to play.

As the story unfolds, the building becomes an ice palace with frost creeping across the windows and the frost fairies gliding and swooping through a forested winter garden.

The show, which includes a newly-created soundtrack, is projected several times a night on to the front of The Blackpool Tower building.

Illuminos, based in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester, have worked around the world on a range of high-profile events including the closing ceremony for the 2017 Capital of Culture celebrations in Cyprus. They also created a vast chocolate factory for City Of The Unexpected, a city-wide centenary celebrations of Roald Dahl in Cardiff.

The Illuminos commission formed part of a £48k Arts Council National Lottery grant made to the Blackpool Illuminations team to deliver a new artists’ research and development programme.

It led to two artist-in-residence opportunities at Lightworks, the manufacturing base of the Illuminations, and resulted in new works being created for the Grundy Art Gallery and Lightpool Festival.

The Frost Fairies projection show, which is free to view each night, forms part of Blackpool’s Christmas By The Sea village on the Tower Festival Headland. It also includes free-to-use skating rink, magic forest, log cabins, artificial snowfalls, and light installations.

At the VisitBlackpool cabin, there is a range of Christmas By The Sea merchandise, including a limited edition jar of Frost Fairy sweets produced by local rock company, Stanton.

Rob Vale said: “We have been interested in creating a projection artwork for the iconic Blackpool Tower for a number of years, and were delighted to be given this opportunity.

We wanted to bring a sense of wonder and storytelling to the project, and it was fantastic to have the opportunity to develop our ideas with the highly knowledgeable Lightpool team.

“There were some great conversations and sharing sessions with other commissioned artists, and the end result we hope really makes best use of this world-famous building to bring the Frost Fairies to life.”

Alongside Blackpool’s Christmas village is the Star Flyer, Europe’s largest aerial ride and a short distance away is the Winter Gardens Wonderland with indoor and outdoor festive market stalls, virtual reality experiences, and funfair rides.

The Christmas programme is complemented by the extended Blackpool Illuminations season which sees the famous lights shining every night until January 3.

On New Year’s Eve a free family fireworks display will be staged in front of The Blackpool Tower at 5pm.

Note: Parts of the Christmas season and fireworks display are weather-dependent. Check out the visitblackpool.com website for updates.

New Year’s Eve Family Fireworks and some elements of Christmas By The Sea are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

St Annes Christmas Market set to be an annual event

Home | Blackpool Gazette

St Annes’ first festive market was a resounding success and will be back next year.

 

Organisers the St Annes Enterprise Partnership (STEP) hope it will become an annual event in Ashton Gardens.

Stallholders were delighted with how it went, with Sara Dewhurst, of Lytham Gin, hailing it “the most successful event we have ever attended”.

She said: “The atmosphere was wonderful, the organisers did a fantastic job and I’m sure that this is the start of something big for St Annes. Lytham Gin is already looking forward to next year.”

STEP chairman Veli Kirk at the St Annes Market with Fylde Council chief executive Allan Oldfield

STEP chairman Veli Kirk at the St Annes Market with Fylde Council chief executive Allan Oldfield

St Annes Market a festive hit

Coun Gavin Harrison, chairman of St Annes Town Council, said: “Feedback from our independent businesses suggests the whole town was busy and proves the worth of this kind of market. St Annes Town Council looks forward to working closely with STEP to deliver similar successful events in the future.

STEP chairman Veli Kirk said: “The feedback was excellent. We wanted to bring something really special to St Annes and thanks to everyone who supported it. It went really well.”

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St Annes’ first Christmas market attracts thousands

Home | Blackpool Gazette

St Annes’ first festive market held in Ashton Gardens over the weekend was a resounds success attracting thousands of people.

 

Veli Kirk, chairman of organisers the St Annes Enterprise Partnership (STEP), was delighted at the response to the event’s debut and is already aiming for a return next year.

The market, comprising cabins in the Gardens and further stalls in a marquee, featured gifts, food and drink along with Santa in his grotto, children’s fairgrounds rides and evening entertainment and Veli said: “It was great.

STEP chairman Veli Kirk (right) with Allan Oldfield, chief executive of Fylde Council, which supported the event.

STEP chairman Veli Kirk (right) with Allan Oldfield, chief executive of Fylde Council, which supported the event.

“It was very busy over the weekend – we had around 5,000 people in the Gardens on Saturday afternoon and the feedback was excellent.

“We wanted to bring something really special to St Annes and it went really well. We aim to be back next year and hope it will be an annual event.

“Thanks to our sponsors, Anatolia Seaview, Beaverbrooks, Cuffe and Lacey Fostering, The View, Fylde Council and St Anne’s Town Council for their support, to all the community volunteers who made this happen and to everyone who came along.”

 

The market featured stalls offering a wide variety of goods.

The market featured stalls offering a wide variety of goods.

Festive treats galore in store at St Annes Christmas market

Home | Blackpool Gazette

St Annes’ Ashton Gardens will be transformed to a winter wonderland this weekend as it hosts the town’s first Christmas market.

 

The event opening at 4pm on Thursday and running from 11am to 8pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will see a host of stalls and cabins offering food, drink and gifts.

Arts and crafts, candles, cards, sweet treats, wreaths, homewares, baked treats, ceramics and of course Christmas goods are just a taster of what’s in store.

Father Christmas will be in his Grotto and listening to children’s gift requests until 6pm each day, with no need to book.

STEP chairman Veli Kirk and fellow organiser Dorothy Aitken watch the market cabins being set up.

STEP chairman Veli Kirk and fellow organiser Dorothy Aitken watch the market cabins being set up.

He has also agreed to a special ‘quiet hour’ for children with autism, before the market officially opens on Sunday, so between 9.45 and 10.45 pre-booked visitors can go through slowly and quietly to see him.

All day on Saturday, the Inner State strolling players will be doing their ‘circus routine’ in period costume, interacting with visitors and offering hobby horse rides and tickets to the free children’s raffle.

The event is organised by the St Annes Enterprise Partnership (STEP)in association with St Annes Town Council and Fylde Council and STEP chairman Veli Kirk said: “We are looking forward to a wonderful weekend. Thanks to our sponsors, Anatolia Seaview, Beaverbrooks, Cuffe and Lacey Fostering, The View, Fylde Council and St Anne’s Town Council for their support and to the 30 community volunteers who are helping to make this happen.”

 

 

‘Pony pantomime’ provides unique twist on Cinderella story at World Horse Welfare Penny Farm

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Pint-sized ponies dressed in ballgowns made their stage debut at World Horse Welfare Penny Farm’s ‘pony pantomime’, which told children the beloved story of Cinderella – without the famous glass slipper.

 

The Christmas Fair at World Horse Welfare Penny Farm

The Christmas Fair at World Horse Welfare Penny Farm

A glass horse shoe was more fitting for the actors who appeared in the Blackpool-based charity’s Christmas Fair on Sunday.

The festive event was the first at the horse rescue and rehoming centre since Christmas 2019, and welcomed around 700 visitors throughout the day.

Staff and ponies treated the audience to the special performance, which starred centre mascot Yasmin as Cinderella, led onstage by eight-year-old old Beth Penrice. There were also donkey rides, Christmas craft stalls, and lots of festive treats on sale in the centre’s newly refurbished coffee shop.

The Christmas Fair at World Horse Welfare Penny Farm

The Christmas Fair at World Horse Welfare Penny Farm

Penny Farm visitor officer Zoe Clifford said: “We raised £2,500 from the event which will really help us look after the ponies in our care over the winter months – we are really grateful to the residents of the Fylde who came along today to show their support.

“The rescue and rehoming side of what we do has continued throughout the pandemic, however, we have missed our visitors so it is great to get back on track.”

Penny Farm celebrated its 20th anniversary in June this year, when it was hoped it would reopen to the public with a full rota of summertime events – however, a surge in Covid-19 numbers meant the plans had to be cancelled.

The Christmas Fair at World Horse Welfare Penny Farm

The Christmas Fair at World Horse Welfare Penny Farm

“It was hoped that we could have had lots of events to celebrate, however we are now planning for 2022 to make our 21st birthday a real event not to be missed,” Zoe said.

 

 

Festive treats galore in store at St Annes Christmas market

Home | Blackpool Gazette

St Annes’ Ashton Gardens will be transformed to a winter wonderland this weekend as it hosts the town’s first Christmas market.

 

The event opening at 4pm on Thursday and running from 11am to 8pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will see a host of stalls and cabins offering food, drink and gifts.

Arts and crafts, candles, cards, sweet treats, wreaths, homewares, baked treats, ceramics and of course Christmas goods are just a taster of what’s in store.

Father Christmas will be in his Grotto and listening to children’s gift requests until 6pm each day, with no need to book.

STEP chairman Veli Kirk and fellow organiser Dorothy Aitken watch the market cabins being set up.

STEP chairman Veli Kirk and fellow organiser Dorothy Aitken watch the market cabins being set up.

He has also agreed to a special ‘quiet hour’ for children with autism, before the market officially opens on Sunday, so between 9.45 and 10.45 pre-booked visitors can go through slowly and quietly to see him.

Tomorrow, Chelsea Stevens will be on stage, while Lucy Ella Smith performs on Saturday.

All day on Saturday, the Inner State strolling players will be doing their ‘circus routine’ in period costume, interacting with visitors and offering hobby horse rides and tickets to the free children’s raffle.

The event is organised by the St Annes Enterprise Partnership (STEP)in association with St Annes Town Council and Fylde Council and STEP chairman Veli Kirk said: “We are looking forward to a wonderful weekend. Thanks to our sponsors, Anatolia Seaview, Beaverbrooks, Cuffe and Lacey Fostering, The View, Fylde Council and St Anne’s Town Council for their support and to the 30 community volunteers who are helping to make this happen.”

 

 

Blackpool skating rink forced to shut today due to high winds

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The skating rink on the Tower Festival Headland has been forced to close only a week after shutting due to Storm Arwen

 

The skating rink is the centrepiece of Blackpool's Christmas By The Sea village
The skating rink is the centrepiece of Blackpool’s Christmas By The Sea village

A popular outdoor ice skating rink in Blackpool has been forced to close again today (December 4) only a week after shutting because of safety fears due to Storm Arwen.

Blackpool’s Christmas By The Sea village skating rink is not open this afternoon due to ‘high winds’.

Organisers said they are monitoring the weather and will try to reopen the 40-metre long synthetic rink if the weather improves.

Visit Blackpool said in a statement: “Due to high winds, the use of the skating rink on the headland is currently suspended and it will not be able to open as planned at midday.

“We are closely monitoring the weather and will try to reopen the rink later today if conditions improve.”

The Met Office say this weekend will be wet and windy, with hail “possible” with “snow over the highest ground”.

Experts have predicted “frequent” showers and “longer periods of rain” today (Saturday), and it will feel cold in strong and blustery northwesterly winds.

There is a 90% chance of rain until 4pm today, dropping to 10% with winds easing from 6pm tonight.

Conditions are likely to ease on Sunday, but it will remain windy – with further rain expected on Monday.

Organisers confirmed last Sunday that the ice rink would reopen after taking a battering from Storm Arwen.

The popular attraction was forced to shut last Friday due to safety fears as the coastline was battered with gusts of wind of up to 80mps.

The free to use ice rink, which can hold up to 160 skaters per session, is open from Thursday to Sunday until December 27 and then daily (except Christmas Day) until January 3.

 

 

Kirkham’s market switch-on format set to return

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Kirkham’s new-style Christmas lights switch on proved such a success, the format is likely to be repeated next year and a similar event could be held in the town at Easter.

 

Market stalls all along the main Poulton Street were the centrepiece of the day, which culminated in a spectacular fireworks display after the festive lights came on as dusk descended.

In the meantime, Father Christmas and The Grinch mingled with the eager families attending and a host of entertainment added to what organisers felt was a wonderful atmosphere.

After strong overnight winds, the opening of the stalls was put back an hour but otherwise the day went ahead as planned, with the stalls protected from the elements by the building on either side of the street.

The new format proved a big hit in Kirkham

The new format proved a big hit in Kirkham

“It was ideal – and a really memorable day,” said Heidi Hopkinson, chairman of Kirkham and Wesham Business Group and vice-chairman of the event organisers Lytham Christmas.

“We thought the market stalls idea was a better one than the conventional stage format this year for Covid safety reasons and it certainly proved a big hit.

“We are already thinking of repeating it next Christmas and it might well be back in a similar form at Easter.

“The market comes to the Market Square in town every month and is very popular but it struck us that ironically for a market town mentioned in the Domesday Book, Kirkham as far as we can tell has never previously market stalls along its main street and it went so well.

“It worked well for the shops and the response from the public was wonderful. After missing out on Christmas last year, everyone was so pleased to be involved in such an event.”

 

 

IN PICTURES: Christmas wonderland opens at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Find your festive spirit at the Winter Gardens this Christmas!

 

The famous Winter Gardens has been transformed into a festive wonderland, complete with fairground rides, Bavarian-style Christmas market stalls, and a Santa’s Grotto with twinkling fairy lights.

 

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Blackpool ice rink re-opening date confirmed after Storm Arwen causes damage

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The attraction, which is part of the town’s Christmas By The Sea offering, needed some ‘care and attention’ after the severe weather conditions hit Lancashire

 

The skating rink is the centrepiece of Blackpool's Christmas By The Sea village
The skating rink is the centrepiece of Blackpool’s Christmas By The Sea village

The reopening date for Blackpool’s ice skating rink has been confirmed.

The attraction, which is part of the town’s Christmas By The Sea offering, needed some ‘care and attention’ after the severe weather conditions hit Lancashire.

The closure was confirmed on Friday (November 26) for safety reasons.

A yellow weather warning was active across the county with experts warning that injuries or danger to life from flying debris is possible, as well as damage to trees and buildings.

However, Visit Blackpool has now confirmed plans to reopen the rink on Sunday (November 28).

It is thought that the free sessions will continue until 9pm.

A spokesperson for Visit Blackpool said: “After taking a battering from #StormArwen, our Christmas By The Sea skating rink is getting some much-needed care and attention.

“We are now planning to reopen early afternoon on Sunday (28 November) with free sessions continuing until 9pm.

“Thanks for your patience!”

 

 

Kirkham traders delighted as the town prepares to host its biggest Christmas market

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Kirkham is to host its largest festive market yet as the historic Fylde town gears up for a merry Christmas.

 

More than 40 stalls will line Poulton Street and fill the Market Square on Saturday, November 27 as the town’s Christmas lights are switched on.

A day of festive entertainment between 11am and 7pm will include food and drink, live music from street performers situated around the town – including the Worldwise Samba Drummers

performing two sets (between 1pm and 2pm) – as well as Father Christmas (between 2pm and 3pm), a snow machine, and photo opportunities with cartoon characters The Grinch and

Karl Swan, Heidi Hopkinson and Jenni Conway at the 2019 Christmas Lights Switch-On

Karl Swan, Heidi Hopkinson and Jenni Conway at the 2019 Christmas Lights Switch-On

The Christmas Elves (between 2pm to 5pm).

Davey Dee children’s entertainer will spread some fun and laughter between 11.30am and 12.30pm, and a festive firework finale will begin at 6.30pm.

Karl Swan, chairman of the Kirkham’s Christmas Lights, said the volunteers behind the event were delighted to be bringing the switch-on back this year.

He said: “We are so happy to be able to announce Kirkham’s Christmas Switch-On event is back for 2021!

“It was bitterly disappointing to have to cancel last year’s event after such successful switch-ons in 2018 and 2019, when 2,000 people attended each event.

“Unlike previous years, which have been about a big party in Market Square, we have decided to incorporate as much of the town centre as we can.

“Therefore, we are delighted to reveal Kirkham will be hosting its biggest ever Christmas market.

“Not only will Lancashire Artisan Traders be bringing a number of stalls here, but many of the local shops will also come out onto the high street to join the fun. It’s going to be a real festive

celebration. There will be lots for families to enjoy in a safe and secure way before the day is rounded off by a firework finale.”

Poulton Street will be closed throughout the event to help create a safe and secure space for people to browse the market stalls and enjoy the fun. Local traders, who support the festive

lights through sponsoring illuminated Christmas trees on the high street, have welcomed the return of the switch-on.

Heidi Hopkinson, co-owner of Serendipity House gift shop on Poulton Street, chairwoman of Kirkham Business Group and member of the switch-on committee, said: “It has been such a

tough couple of years for local businesses and the community. Kirkham, like every town, missed its big Christmas event last year.

“The emphasis this year is on families and the local community so it would be great to see as many local people as possible head onto the high street on Saturday November 27 and enjoy

a really festive and fun day out celebrating our wonderful town.”

If you are interested in having a stall at the market, email Heidi Hopkinson at serendipitykirkham@gmail.com

 

 

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens Wonderland cheapest Christmas attraction for families in UK

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

A study discovered that the total cost is £37 for a family of four – two adults and two children

 

Bavarian-style Christmas markets are coming to the Winter Gardens
Bavarian-style Christmas markets are coming to the Winter Gardens among other festive treats (Image: I Love Blackpool/Facebook)

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens Wonderland has been named as the cheapest Christmas attraction for families in the UK.

The attraction earned top spot as the best venue for money for a Christmas day out with the family in 2021.

A study discovered that the total cost is £37 for a family of four – two adults and two children.

The £15 per child fee includes visiting Santa’s grotto, getting a hot chocolate and a ride on Alice in Wonderland and and car parking. Two adults can accompany one child for no extra charge, while car parking works out around £7.

The town is also offering a variety of activites including – skating, snowfalls, projection show and magic forest which are all free to access.

With Christmas markets mostly cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, families will want to make the most of the festive markets reopening this year.

A light display on Blackpool Promenade
A light display on Blackpool Promenade

However, with mounting costs around the holidays, a day out is an indulgence many families may be wondering if they can afford.

Here are the top five in the UK – with Blackpool being crowned best value:

1.Blackpool Winter Gardens Wonderland

Total cost: £37

Blackpool Winter Gardens Wonderland has earned the top spot as the best value for money Christmas day out with the family in 2021.

Paying a visit to Santa’s grotto costs £15 per child – which includes meeting Santa, a hot chocolate and a ride on Alice in Wonderland. For a family of two adults and two children, this would cost £30.

Parking at Houndshill Shopping Centre is available for £7 for six hours – bringing the total to £37 for a festive family day out.

The seaside town is also offering a variety of activites including – skating, snowfalls, projection show and magic forest with are all free to access.

On top of the excellent prices at Winter Gardens Wonderland, you can also view the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations completely free after 5pm from November 1 to January 3, 2022.

2.Yorkshire Winter Wonderland

Total cost: £53.00

Yorkshire Winter Wonderland only charges for its experiences, such as entrance to The Ice Factor and Santa’s Grotto.

Since the 975 square metre ice rink is the main attraction, this is the most expensive activity at £21 each, but the vintage funfair and free views of the 30ft high Christmas tree surrounded by illuminated trees and cosy log cabins are worth the visit even if you don’t intend to spend money on the other attractions.

3.Edinburgh Christmas Market

Total cost: £66.00

Hosted in the heart of the city, Edinburgh’s Christmas is a six week season of festivities that features plenty of activities for the family to enjoy. Those wishing to take little ones to meet Santa or to enjoy ice skating are sure to be happy with the prices on offer – a family of four can enjoy both activities for a grand total of £41!

Plus there are plenty more rides and attractions to choose from all around the city from the Christmas tree maze to fairground rides including bumper cars and a big wheel. Need a break from the festivities? The City of Edinburgh offers many free attractions such as the Botanical Gardens to enjoy.

4.London Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Total cost: £72.50

As the nation’s capital, it stands to reason that London’s Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is a little more costly. There’s an entry fee that will cost a family of four around £20 and additional costs for many of the attractions.

Once inside, the sights and sounds of Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland are enough to keep kids of all ages entertained, and little ones are treated to a free visit to Santa’s Grotto.

Ice skating is no more expensive than many other venues across the country, so if ice skating at London’s Winter Wonderland is on your festive bucket list, you can do so without blowing the Christmas budget!

5.Winchester Christmas Market

Total cost: £76.90

Held in the Inner Close of Winchester Cathedral, Winchester Christmas Market is certainly one of the most historic settings for a Christmas Day out on our list.

Offering hundreds of market chalets selling everything from arts and crafts to Christmas decorations and food and drink, the festive stalls lead to an ice rink in the heart of the market where a family of four can enjoy skating for a low fee of £35.90!

 

 

Blackpool’s giant Star Flyer ride loses power on opening day leaving thrill-seekers stranded in the air

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Thrill-seekers taking a spin on Blackpool’s massive new Star Flyer ride got more than they bargained for when the 260ft giant suddenly lost power, leaving families suspended high above the Promenade yesterday (Sunday, November 21).

 

The Star Flyer came to a sudden stop shortly before 5pm on its opening day, leaving dozens of passengers suspended in the air on a bitingly cold day.

The huge swing, which costs £7 for a 5 minute spin, was out of operation for around 10 minutes after its power reportedly cut out mid-spin.

Riders were left perched on their seats around 40ft above street level before they were lowered safely to the ground when staff took control of the ride’s manual system.

The Star Flyer came to a sudden stop shortly before 5pm on its opening day (Sunday, November 21), leaving dozens of passengers suspended in the air

The Star Flyer came to a sudden stop shortly before 5pm on its opening day (Sunday, November 21), leaving dozens of passengers suspended in the air

Event organisers Blackpool Promotions described the ride’s power outage as a “very minor issue”.

Today, a spokesman for the company, said: “The ride was not operational for a matter of minutes and fully open for around 9 hours on the day.

“All people were brought down safely by the rides manual system and exited the ride within a few minutes.

“This was a very minor issue in what was a fantastic day for Blackpool with many thousands of people coming and supporting the Star Flyer ride and wider Christmas offer in Blackpool.”

The huge swing, which costs £7 for a 5 minute spin, was out of operation for around 10 minutes after its power reportedly cut out mid-swing yesterday (Sunday, November 21)

The huge swing, which costs £7 for a 5 minute spin, was out of operation for around 10 minutes after its power reportedly cut out mid-swing yesterday (Sunday, November 21)

The white-knuckle ride – half the height of Blackpool Tower – opened at the Tower Festival Headland on Sunday after being moved from its original location in St John’s Square last week.

The largest of its kind in Europe, the giant swing was moved under orders from Blackpool Council on Thursday (November 18).

The Council expressed safety concerns after it realised the footprint of the ride “was significantly bigger than envisaged”, with workers told to dismantle the giant before a new space was found for it on the Prom.

The ride has been a huge hit since it welcomed its first riders onboard on Sunday morning, attracting hundreds of thrill-seekers to the resort for its first weekend.

A Blackpool Promotions spokesman added: “We are delighted to have the ride operating and providing a spectacular experience in Blackpool this Christmas.

“The next stage of the wonderland opens on Friday this week with food stalls in St Johns Square, traditional rides, Santa’s grotto, VR experiences inside the winter gardens and much more.

“All we want is for the town to have a successful Christmas, for businesses to be able to gain additional revenue after a horrendous 18 months, children to be excited for Christmas and for everyone to have a great time.”