Visit Blackpool

The 2020 Display

The world-famous Blackpool Illuminations have been one of the UK’s most enduring visitor attractions for more than a century. And the seafront show remains as compelling as ever thanks to new investment and innovation each year.

2020 welcomed the arrival of some spectacular new features and the Illuminations extended over the festive period for the first time in history. It promised to be the most magical of seasons and it certainly delivered.

New features in 2020

NEW Coral Island Pirate Tableau
Location: Cliffs, North Shore

Ahoy me hearties! 2020 marked a particularly special year for one of the largest tableaux in the display. Thanks to sponsorship from Coral Island, the Pirate Tableau, a firm family favourite in Blackpool Illuminations, has undertaken a major refurbishment – or should we say had its timbers shivered?

The main structural pieces were re-built and the moving parts refurbished, giving them an extra spring of life.  As part of our collaboration, Coral Island’s recognisable skull and crossbones were featured on the tableau, along with an illuminated Buccaneer Bar and Captain Jack’s Bar and Grill.

NEW Spitfire Display, in collaboration with Hangar 42
Location: Gynn Roundabout

Did you know Blackpool was one of the largest military training centres in the world during World War II? In fact, almost 800,000 RAF recruits had their initial training in the town. During this time, Blackpool residents raised funds to sponsor three Spitfires known as Progress I, II and III.

In the 2020 display, one of the replica Spitfires named Holly was placed as the centrepiece at Gynn Roundabout in a touching tribute to the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire had been refurbished and converted back into a Mark VB Spitfire by Blackpool Illuminations team in collaboration with Blackpool’s aviation museum, Hangar 42.

The fighter plane was tastefully illuminated with sweeping search lights and a dazzling video mapped laser show synced to music, lighting up the fuselage every 15 minutes.

The display commanded the attention from visitors of all ages as this iconic piece of moving history was lit up in all her glory. But it’s not the first time this Spitfire has been in the spotlight; she’s been quite the actress, featuring in successful TV dramas ‘World on Fire’ and ‘Home Fires’.

NEW Lancashire Federation of Women’s Institute
Location: Cliffs, North Shore

Lancashire Federation of Women’s Institute was originally set up in September 1920 to be the force of good in society and, nearly 100 years later, the organisation is still inspiring generations with their continued efforts. In this present day, they are contributing to the community by sewing masks, making scrubs for NHS staff and raising funds to buy food to support local foodbanks that have seen a dramatic increase in families needing food throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

To mark their centenary year, the Women’s Institute commissioned a wooden bench with glittering illumination and LED signage, located in the Enchanted Garden area of the Cliffs. After the Illumination season finished, they donated the bench to one of their chosen charities.
NEW NHS and Key Workers Tribute
Location: Golden Mile

Blackpool Illuminations paid a special tribute to recognise the selfless efforts of NHS staff and key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. A section of the famous Golden Mile featured a colourul festoon of hearts and rainbows as a special thank you to the NHS.

The adjoining ‘Corona Heroes’ section also included the faces of 50 brave key workers who were nominated for inclusion in the Illuminations display and selected by Illuminations Curator, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen:

Mark Stanley (deceased) Specialist paramedic Todmorden Ambulance Station
Isabel Johnson Student nurse/COVID volunteer UCLAN/East Lancashire Hospitals Trust
Spencer Gibbons Director, Independent Living Warren Manor, Blackpool
Dr Carole Gavin A&E consultant Salford Royal Hospital
Donna Doyle Restaurant manager Alder Hey Hospital
Will Ritchie COVID fundraiser, aged six The Wirral
Liam Entwistle PPE stores department apprentice Blackpool Council
David Anderson (and Jasper) Hospital chaplain and therapy dog East Lancashire Hospitals Trust
Mark Jenkins Carer Blackpool
Laura Martin Cardiac day care nurse Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Dianne Bennison Domestic staff Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Dr Jason Cupitt COVID lead consultant Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Rachelle Sutton Nurse Nightingale Hospital, Manchester
Simon Mitchell Volunteer Blackpool
Kirsty Jones Nurse Trinity Hospice, Blackpool
Karen Knock Nursing home senior carer Braintree, Essex
Katherine Truelock District nurse North East England
Jeanette Richards Children’s services leadership team Blackpool Council
Derek Wright Catering services manager Blackpool Council
Abby Johnson Ward sister Royal Blackburn Hospital
Joy Redwood Care team manager Royal Bolton Hospital
Laura Crawford Critical care nurse Leighton Hospital, Crewe
Norbert Mate Adult social care team Blackpool Council
Justine Whittaker Nurse consultant Airedale Hospital, West Yorks
Debra Ramsdale-Walsh Ward sister Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Leanne Ratcliffe Intensive care nurse Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital
Mark Carrington Support worker Ashley Foundation, Blackpool
Rachael Bailey Occupational therapist Preston NHS Trust
Janette Mills Nurse Southport Hospital
Rachel Carr Community midwife Birmingham
Dr Helga Brown Geriatrician Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Nola Healy Healthcare assistant Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Jordan Field X-ray assistant Glan Clwyd Hospital, Wales
Phil Helm Cardiology matron Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Rose Lord Radiographer Chorley Hospital
Charlotte Wells Cleaner Royal Derby Hospital
Laura Ivinson Team leader Corona Kindness hub, Blackpool Council
Tanya Elliot Store assistant B&M, Cumbria
Christine-Anne King Private carer Blackpool
Kelly Richards Intensive care nurse Wrexham Maelor Hospital
Dr Robert Downes Intensive care doctor Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Terri Starkey Newly-qualified nurse Leighton Hospital, Crewe
Stella Noonan Practice nurse Sheffield NHS Trust
Emily Sykes Phlebotomist Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Holly Chapman District nursing sister Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Leona Harris Nurse/Fund-raiser Fairfield Hospital, Bury
Jackie Bailey Intensive care nurse East Lancashire Hospital Trust
Lee Andrew Jones Patient Services Assistant East Lancashire Hospital Trust
Samuel Johnston Mental health social worker Blackpool
Cath Powell Community team leader The Grange, Blackpool Council
Ellis Porter Physiotherapist Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Ruby Aziz Complex case manager Royal Blackburn Hospital
Nina McCallion Support worker Renaissance Lancashire
Brett Hogarth Factory manager (supplier of sterile gowns to NHS) Survitec, The Wirral

NEW Colour Choreography: Displays of light, colour and rhythm

  • Heart to Harps (Burlington Road West) – New for 2020, this section showcased LED neon hearts and harps.

  • Scrolls (Pleasure Beach to Watson Road) – Dazzling centre road features were updated for 2020.

  • Neon Way (Watson Road to Balmoral Road)

Other new Blackpool Illuminations sponsors include:

2020 marked Affinity’s first year with Blackpool Illuminations to help bring awareness of their Fleetwood-based retail park.

For last year’s display, the public were encouraged to make cashless donations to support one of the UK’s biggest free attractions. In collaboration with Barclaycard, fast contactless systems were introduced at kiosk collections points at the north and south gateways to the display. Barclaycard’s support in agreeing a greatly reduced merchant charge enabled us to receive the maximum amount of donations to help maintain our fantastic light show.

Fox Brothers
One of Blackpool’s oldest and most established haulage companies held a prominent roadside presence in last year’s display. 

Hikvision UK
One of the largest suppliers of surveillance equipment, Hikvision, donated CCTV security equipment to be used at our Illuminations donation kiosks and projection units. 2020 was the first year Hikvision has partnered with Blackpool Illuminations.

Returning features for 2020

We are always proud to welcome back companies and organisations that have supported us financially and operationally over several years.

Location: Balmoral Road to Rawcliffe Street
Following their successful centenary celebration display in 2019, Beaverbrooks road section display lit up once again in 2020, consisting of a shimmering show of white lights with a strong focus on diamonds to dazzle the public! Beaverbrooks are the longest standing sponsor of Blackpool Illuminations.

Beach House Bling
Location: Church Street to Talbot Road
Beach House Bar & Bistro returned for a fifth year with its blinging display of lights to wow spectators.

Best Western Carlton Hotel
Location: North Promenade
The Carlton fountains blended tradition with modernity by combining old school manufacturing methods and the very latest LED lighting to create a wonderful addition to the display. The Best Western Carlton returned for a fourth year and they were the only sponsor to have an integrated matching feature on the roof of their building!

Location: Waterloo Road to Commercial Street
Cubbies were back for their third year with a small roadway section, giving visitors a warm welcome to their adorable range of personalised soft toys and teddies.

Elgin Hotel
2020 marked the fourth year the Elgin Hotel has sponsored the original Fire and Water tableau which had been reimagined thanks to their continued sponsorship. There was a projection video element included within the tableau spanning over 15 metres in length.

Genting Casino
Location: Chapel Street
The road section sponsored by Genting Casino returned in 2020 for its fourth year, with large illuminated castles and fortresses.

Houndshill Shopping Centre
Location: New Bonny Street to Adelaide Street
Continuing our relationship with Houndshill Shopping Centre for the third year running, their stunning road section lead the public towards the town centre.

Northern Rail
Northern Rail appeared for the second year in support of Blackpool tourism with a repeat of their Northern Arches at the southern end of the promenade and saw the inclusion of some digital elements added.
Sooty and Friends
To honour the town’s friendship with Sooty, the Illuminations team created some additional features of Sooty, Sweep, Soo and Richard. For the second year running, these appeared across the roadway along the promenade in the form of 3D neon characters.

White Ribbon
The White Ribbon’s lightbox tableau returned to this last year's Blackpool Illuminations, along with a number of border boxes to bring greater awareness of their campaign aimed at raising awareness of domestic abuse.