Sign up for summer carnival

Flashback to the Lions Carnival Parade in Blackpool
Flashback to the Lions Carnival Parade in Blackpool
Have your say

The organisers of a carnival taking place this summer on Blackpool Promenade are calling on even more people to join their ranks.

Already dance troupes, sports groups and musicians have signed up to be part of the Blackpool International Carnival in July.

But the community-led event is urging more participants to showcase their talents at the parade which will be followed by an afternoon of entertainment on the Waterloo Headland in South Shore.

The walking procession will take place on Sunday, July 23 from Central Pier to South Pier along the pedestrian part of the Prom.

It will be the first town-wide carnival since the Blackpool Lions cancelled their event in 2008 which had run annually for 44 years.

A lack of volunteers forced it to be scrapped.

The committee behind the 2017 event has secured a £10,000 Lottery grant and is seeking sponsorship from local businesses.

A souvenir programme will also be produced to help raise funds.

Committee member and hotelier Geoff Moore said: “This is the perfect chance to showcase everything good we have in Blackpool.

“Never mind ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, we say Blackpool’s got talent.

“It will be very colourful, noisy and exciting, organised by the community and for the community.

“People say Blackpool has all these attractions, but nothing for those who live here. Well this will be for them.

“But it will also bring in the visitors and that will be great for the hotels, restaurants, taxis and everyone.”

The procession is expected to set off in the late morning, and a stage will be built on the Waterloo Headland for entertainment afterwards from local dance groups, bands, and singers.

There will also be marquees pitched on the headland offering multi-cultural cuisine.

Tom Metcalf, who runs a hotel services business and is also on the committee, added: “People we are talking to are already getting excited about it.

“The ethos is that it is for the people of Blackpool by the people of Blackpool, but it will bring in the visitors on top of that.”

Blackpool’s famous Lions Carnival was also traditionally held at the end of July.

Its processions featured bands, majorettes, cheerleaders and floats, some with carnival queens and entourages from across the North West.

The event was a firm favourite in the resort’s calender and also raised thousands of pounds for local charities, such as Brian House Children’s Hospice.

But the 2008 carnival was cancelled due to a lack of volunteers to help man the parade.

Going back even further, in 1923 Blackpool staged an eight-day carnival. It was estimated the event was visited by two million people.

It was based on events held in the French city of Nice.

Any groups or individuals wanting to participate or support this year’s Blackpool International Carnival can contact Geoff Moore on 07957811696 or Tom Metcalf on 07710589586.

Read more about carnivals here