Every year in Blackpool, countries from around the world compete against each other to win the World Fireworks Championships! Over a series of Friday evenings the seafront becomes the audience for amazing and breathtaking, totally free, firework displays! Tonight we went to check it out and watch South Africa’s entry!
We decided to combine watching the firework displays with seeing the famous Blackpool Illuminations, another annual event where the whole of the promenade is lit up with fun lights and giant displays.
The fireworks are fired over the sea from North Pier at 8:30pm. Our plan was to drive from the Blackpool pleasure beach along the promenade to the Blackpool Tower and time it perfectly so we could turn inland at the Blackpool Tower and find a car park, then walk back down to the seafront to watch the fireworks, before driving the rest of the way along the promenade to see the rest of the lights.
The lights are sponsored by different companies so change as you travel along the road. The excitement begins as you drive under the arch and doesn’t stop until you reach the other end.
There is something quite nostalgic about travelling this stretch of road, remembering doing so in years gone by. Pointing out the different lights, Cinderella carriages and trams dressed up in lights as you drive by.
We managed to park in the Coral Island car park and walked down to the sea front where we found a chip shop because you can’t go to the seaside in Britain without eating chips! We timed it perfectly and the fireworks began. To be honest they were good but they weren’t the best fireworks I have ever seen. They were also synchronised to music which we couldn’t really hear so I think we might have chosen the wrong place to watch.
The fireworks might not have been as good as I would expect for a world championship competition, but they were fireworks to watch at the seaside, whilst eating chips in the drizzling rain, and you can’t really complain about that!
Taking a child with an ASD to see the Illuminations and watch the World Firework Championships?
If you decide to park and walk or take the tram then be aware that it can get very busy especially if there is an additional event. I wouldn’t recommend the tram as the ones that went past our car were absolutely crammed full.
If your child can handle being in the car in essentially a traffic jam then definitely at least drive and look at the lights and this is the easiest way of doing so.
There are lots of lights you can see and you can see all of them from the car.
For the fireworks, ear defenders may be needed depending on your child’s sensitivity to noise as apart from the obvious firework noise there is also piped music in the staging area.
You can see the fireworks from anywhere else along the sea front, although not with the best view. If you are not near the stage then it will be quieter.
If you park in the car park we did I would avoid walking through Coral Island, a huge arcade. It was packed full of people, very loud and with artificial lights and arcade machines everywhere. You can walk round the outside.
There is still time to see the last display of 2017 on Friday 29th September when the Celebration finale from the UK’s Titanium Fireworks takes place, and the winner is announced. If you miss it though, don’t worry, this is an annual event and you could always put it in the diary for next year! The build up is from 7.30pm and shows start at 8.30pm. All firework displays are subject to suitable weather conditions.