Lighting up for year of circus

Blackpool officially helped kick off a year of circus celebrations when logos to mark the festivities were projected on to the front of the Tower.

Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 2:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 4:10 pm
The Circus250 logo on Blackpool Tower

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Renowned artist Sir Peter Blake (pictured inset) has designed the symbols for Circus250 to mark the 250th anniversary of the first circus performance in the UK.

Blackpool has been chosen as a designated City of Circus along with Belfast, Bristol, Great Yarmouth and Norwich, Newcastle-under-Lyme and London.

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In Blackpool the finishing touches are being put to the resort’s bespoke calendar of events which will be underpinned by the world famous Blackpool Tower Circus.

Further details will be revealed in the weeks ahead.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “It is very fitting that as part of the national launch of Circus250 the logos were projected on to the Blackpool Tower building, the home of one of the most famous circuses in the world.

“We are delighted to be a part of the Circus250 celebrations and there is a great deal of work going on behind the scenes to deliver a programme of events that will be truly memorable.”

The logos were projected onto the Tower for three hours early on Tuesday evening, with projections also taking place on other UK historic buildings including Norwich Castle.

The UK’s first circus performance took place on the Embankment in London in 1768 when showman Philip Astley drew out a ring and filled it with acts including tumblers, horses, acrobats, jugglers and clowns.

Since then, circuses have become an integral part of live entertainment throughout the world. For more information on Circus250 activities in Blackpool, go to

The Blackpool Tower Circus first opened to the public in May 1894 and has not missed a season since.

The circus ring can be lowered into a lake of water for the finale.

Maxwell and Turk designed the original arena, but this was redesigned by world renowned theatre architect Frank Matcham and completed in 1900.

The Blackpool Tower Circus is a Grade I listed building.

The Endresz family celebrated its 25th year at the venue in 2016, with one of the most enduring characters being Mooky the clown.

Animals have not featured at the circus performances since 1990.