Giant birds set to dance for fanciers

Pigeons like these at a previous event will be on the streets of Blackpool on Friday.

Pigeons like these at a previous event will be on the streets of Blackpool on Friday.

Watch out, the giant pigeons are about! Huge pigeons will take over Blackpool town centre next week as bird enthusiasts flock to the resort for a popular show.

The gargantuan creatures are part of a street theatre event planned to kick off this year’s British Homing World Show on Friday.

Last year, thousands of pigeon fanciers came to town for the event, at the Winter Gardens, which is organised by the Royal Pigeon Racing Association.

The show is typically a welcome boost for the resort’s tourism industry, with previous shows attracting more than 20,000 to Blackpool.

Show manager Stewart Wardrop said: “The Blackpool show is without doubt one of the largest in the world and regularly attracts around 25,000 visitors.

“We understand that it is Blackpool’s busiest weekend of the year when hoteliers, restaurants, taxi drivers and shop keepers welcome pigeon fanciers and their families with open arms.

“Fanciers can buy anything from a £25,000 mahogany loft to a bag of pigeon corn at one of the 200 or so trade stands.

“Thousands of pigeons change hands at sales and auctions where sums of £10 to perhaps £10,000 can be paid for a pedigree racing pigeon or its offspring.”

The giant pigeons are planned to perform on Friday afternoon in St John’s Square.

There is also an exhibition planned that will explore the use of pigeons during the Second World War. It will include an international collection of wartime pigeon medals, which will be on display along with storyboards about the medal-winning pigeons.

During the show, which will be held over two days, judging will take place to find the Supreme Champion bird, in what Mr Wardrop described as “the Crufts of the pigeon world”.

He added: “Around 2,500 pigeons are on display all trying to win best in show with the winner going on to the Supreme Champion class.

“To enter this class then your pigeon must have won at a pigeon show in the previous 12 months.

“There is a lot of kudos to winning at Blackpool and indeed the same for any fancier who is invited to judge.

“It is a great honour for them.”

The British Homing World Show will run over two days on January 18 and 19.

A gala evening on the Saturday will take place at the Tower Ballroom, at 8pm, with performances from the Bradford Belles Zumba Dancers, comedian Ricky Kay and a Michael Jackson tribute act.

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