THOUSANDS of cyclists will pack the Promenade tonight for the annual Ride the Lights extravaganza.
Scores are already dressing up their bikes in anticipation of the popular event which gives riders a sneak preview of the Illuminations ahead of Friday’s official centenary Switch-On party.
Six miles of the Promenade will be open for the ride, between 7pm and 10pm, to accommodate an expected total of more than 10,000 residents and tourists taking part.
The event will also see the Jubilee Tram lit up for the first time after arriving on the Promenade last week.
The tram is a fully restored heritage vehicle adorned with murals by a host of Blackpool school and college students and a video of The Queen at the controls.
John Woodman, chairman of Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust, which has overseen the tram’s transformation, said: “I’m very, very pleased it has all come together and we’re very happy to have contributed to the Illuminations.”
Cyclists starting at the south end of the promenade will be able to see the tram, opposite the Pleasure Beach.
Mr Woodman added: “It is on the Promenade now attracting a lot of attention.
“You won’t be able to miss it when it’s lit up.”
Organisers of Ride the Lights have asked that cyclists joining the ride attach a front and back light for safety - with those taking part are encouraged to adorn their bikes with as much sparkle as possible and dress up for the occasion too. A helmet is also recommended, but not vital.
Natalie Wyatt, Managing Director of Marketing Blackpool, said: “Ride the Lights is a great evening giving people not only chance to see our splendid Illuminations, but also many other features and attractions which line Blackpool’s famous Promenade.”
Organisers intend the majority of the six mile stretch of Illuminations to be lit for preview, but have said some sections may not be in operation.
The Promenade will be closed to traffic from 6pm from Starr Gate (near Squires Gate Lane) all the way to Red Bank Road, Bispham, in readiness for the traffic-free roads opening from 7pm for the start of the evening’s festivities.
You can find out more about Ride the Lights at www.visitblackpool.com/ridethelights