A look around Christmas By The Sea as Blackpool's festive village was officially opened by Strictly Come Dancing stars

I experienced all the festive cheer at the spectacular launch of the Christmas By The Sea village on Blackpool Tower Headlands.

The one-hour free event started at 5:30 and it was packed with families ready to celebrate with some early Christmas magic.

It was great to see professional dancers Lauren Oakley and Graziano Di Prima up on the stage singing Blackpool’s praises. They talked about why the resort is such a vital place for Strictly Come Dancing and the ballroom world, before officially declaring the festive village open to the public.

A children’s choir helped to sprinkle more Christmas cheer. Pupils from Scream Theatre Schools put their own twist on classic winter favourites, with some lovely harmonies and even a bit of rapping!

Talented children from the Blackpool Ice Drome Charities Association (BIDCA) warmed up the ice rink with a beautiful skating performance, before an impressive solo routine by young figure skater Amelia Kislitsyn.

As I wandered around the cosy log cabin stalls, I passed queues of people waiting to sample winter-themed food and indulgent hot chocolates.

There was a jovial atmosphere filled with laughter and good vibes – kids and adults enjoying the fun of the fairground rides.

As well as the Star Flyer, there are loads more attractions than last year – including the 200ft snow slide which the kids seemed to love.

There are also a lot more stalls than previous years – a wider range of food and drink to choose from, and a few more selling festive wares.

The smell of bratwurst and roast beef is mouthwatering, and the marshmallow toasting stall looks so inviting.

Just walking around the village has got me excited for Christmas – I can’t wait to return and try out some of the rides and go for a cheeky mulled wine in the traditional German beer tent.

The Christmas By The Sea village runs until January 1. The annual display includes nightly projection shows on the front of The Blackpool Tower, sponsored by Northern Rail.

For full details, including opening times of the rink and other attractions go to: visitblackpool.com

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