Hardy souls stretch out for Lights funds

Some of the volunteers during the first sponsored walk through the Lights.
Some of the volunteers during the first sponsored walk through the Lights.
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Hoteliers and tourism chiefs stepped out in support of Blackpool Lights in a bid to boost fund-raising for the attraction.

The Friends of the Illuminations held their first sponsored walk throught the Lights on Wednesday, starting out at the Solaris Centre on South Promenade and finishing in Bispham.

A handful of supporters braved the rain to take part.

Organisers now hope to make the walk a regular event.

Shirley Hunt, of the Friends of the Illuminations, said: “The weather was very wet but everyone was in good spirits and nearly everyone managed to walk all the way from the Solaris to Bispham.

“We are still waiting to see how much we have raised.

“But we certainly intend to hold the walk again next year, and will perhaps do fancy dress or have banners.”

This week has seen an additional week of the Illuminations held, funded by Blackpool Tower operator Merlin.

Mrs Hunt added: “It is difficult to say yet if it has been worthwhile. During the week there have not been as many children about, because they are back at school after the half term. But we need to see how busy the hotels are this weekend.”

It is not yet known how much money has been raised this year towards the Illuminations fund.

Cash has been raised from Promenade collections, with people being requested to consider donating £5 per car this year, while appeals have also been made to businesses to make donations.

The Friends of the Illuminations has also handed out collecting tins to hoteliers, held a regular stall within the Houndshill Centre and collected at the Ride the Lights cycling event at the end of August.

The 2013 Illuminations will be switched off for the final time this year at 11pm on Sunday.

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