The next time you hear someone say a bad word about Blackpool and that there’s little for the locals to do, send them my way.
They’ve clearly not had the pleasure of Al Fresco.
The family festival returned to Blackpool Cricket Club for its fifth year on Sunday, and proved its worth as a great day out for all ages.
Thousands of families and friends – people of all backgrounds and ages – and dogs too, flocked to the ground by Stanley Park to hear live bands and top DJs, see graffiti artists and world class dancers, and enjoy free children’s entertainment and even some yoga.
It’s billed as “Blackpool...but not as we know it!”
Organiser Mark Davies said: “If there’s one place in Britain that deserves a great festival for parents and kids to enjoy together, it’s Blackpool.”
Organised by those behind Cowbell Radio, it shows the same entrepreneurial spirit that has made Blackpool a thriving tourist town, but spurred them on to do something for residents.
Hackney Colliery Band were just one of the hits of the day. The band of trumpets, trombones, saxes, sousaphone and marching percussion had the band tent bouncing, and a long wait for the troupe to start up didn’t deter anyone, showing the easygoing atmosphere.
Stars of the show for many more than just their parents were the young dancers from FY Wingz, who put on a frankly awe-inspiring show inside the clubhouse.
Dancers as young as six took each other on in ‘battles’ in breakdancing, popping and locking, accompanied by DJ Ed Mahon.
This talented bunch showed exactly why they’re national champions, as they wowed a trio of expert judges.
Over in the igloo tent, house music had teenagers rubbing shoulders with mid-30s hipsters, parents with toddlers on their shoulders, young professionals and those ‘old enough to know better’.
This festival-in-a-day shows the town can live up to its assertion that Blackpool’s a ‘great place to visit, a better place to live’.