IT was a magical occasion as children enjoyed a festive treat at Blackpool Tower Circus.
Around 100 families were handed free tickets for the venue’s pantomime – Mooky’s Off To See The Wizard.
The surprise was organised by Blackpool Council and The Gazette in conjunction with Tower operator Merlin as part of the Give A Little, Help A lot campaign to ensure Christmas is special for all the resort’s children this year.
Darren and Dawn Turner, of Red Bank Road, Bispham, took their five children, aged from 18 months to seven, after getting tickets through Sure Start on Grange Park.
Tye, five, said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing the pantomime and all the children are very excited.”
Single mum Lisa Bennett, of Fenton Road, Blackpool, also got tickets through Sure Start, for her children Rocco, four, and Olivia, 11.
Olivia said: “It’s Rocco’s first visit to the circus, although I have been before. We’re both really excited.
“Mooky is really fun.”
Ms Bennett added: “We’re really grateful to get the tickets because I wouldn’t have been able to bring the children otherwise.”
Also enjoying the panto were Marley Fantousi, four, and his brother Tamer, two, whose father Andreas was killed in a street attack in Stoke-on-Trent last year.
Their grandparents Gail and Len Weedy, of Meanwood Avenue, Marton, have got custody of the youngsters.
Mrs Weedy said: “They lost their dad just before Christmas last year, so it is nice for them to have something like this to enjoy this year.”
Marley said: “I’ve never been to a circus before and I’m really looking forward to seeing the clowns.”
Melinda Latham, of Merlin’s Magic Wand charity, said: “It is so nice to see the children who benefit from events like this.
“It’s all about making them smile and giving them a bit of Merlin magic.”