Illuminating experience coming to Winter Gardens

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An indoor illuminations spectacle the likes of which have never been seen before is starting to take shape in Blackpool.

The resort’s famous winter Gardens is gearing up to host a dazzling exhibition that is expected to bring in 300,000 visitors in its first year.

Illuminasia preview at The Olympia in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Illuminasia preview at The Olympia in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Illuminasia, the biggest event of its kind anywhere in the world, kicks off on April 18 at Olympia and will bring together Blackpool’s long history of illuminations with traditional Chinese lanterns.

With a 40ft Blackpool Tower at its cnetre, the exhibition will feature six zones made up of everything from the wonders of space to a giant ant.

Designer Max Painter said: “What we are producing is a complete first in the UK, probably in Europe. It is the biggest indoor illuminations there have ever been in the world.

“The venue here is incredible. We have been here a few days and we are making good progress.

“When you walk in you will have the ancient China experience followed by an educational zone about the history of Blackpool.

“Then there’s a planetarium and the land of giants, where everything is scaled up 100 times or more, as well as an underwater zone and the wonders of the world.”

Production manager Qing Hu said: “I have a team of 54 artists here to build this very interesting lantern attraction.

“I think it is an interesting combination of Western design with a Chinese folk art and we are all very excited to see it completed.”

Winter gardens boss Michael Williams said: “It is a great boost for the winter Gardens and the resort overall.

“There is £3m of private funding coming in, mainly form America and China.

“There has been some great investment over the last few years but this will be the new attraction of 2014.”

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