It's that time of year again... Blackpool Illuminations are back

Last year's switch-on event for Blackpool Illuminations was hugely popular and this year's event should not disappoint
Last year's switch-on event for Blackpool Illuminations was hugely popular and this year's event should not disappoint
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And there's still plenty of other events taking place across the region that should tickle your fancy.

FREE: Blackpool Illuminations, Blackpool, from Friday, August 30, to Sunday, November 3Have you seen them? The sort of spectacle that everyone should see at least once,

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is making an appearance in Blackpool in his own show

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is making an appearance in Blackpool in his own show

Blackpool Illuminations enthral millions of visitors every year. The greatest free light show on earth has been a major part of Blackpool’s attraction since 1879. The annual Festival of Light compliments the traditional Illuminations with a contemporary look at the concept of light and art working together. The “Big Switch On” is the brightest night, when the switch is pulled to create the magic and excitement that Blackpool is known for.

PAID: Elmer the Patchwork Elephant Show, Blackool, from Thursday, August 29 until Saturday, August 31

Based on the classic children’s book series by David McKee, that celebrate its 30th Birthday in 2019, Elmer the Patchwork Elephant Show, is a celebration of individuality and the power of laughter. Elephants, as everyone knows, are big, have trunks, and are grey. But Elmer is a patchwork of brilliant colours. The show features a menagerie of 21 loveable puppets. See it at the Pavilion Theatre in the Winter Gardens. Show times vary and tickets start at £10.

PAID: Preston Comic Con, Preston, Saturday, August 31

Preston Comic Con is a must for fans of collectables

Preston Comic Con is a must for fans of collectables

Preston Comic Con is back. There will be stars from TV and film, including Ian McElhinney who played Ser Barristan Selmy in Game of Thrones and Chris Rankin who played Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter films. Alongside the many guests to look forward to, there will also be a huge variety of stalls selling collectibles you won’t find anywhere else. Head to Preston North End between 10.30am until 5pm for this year’s Comic Con. Tickets are £4 - £12, from www.wonkyrocketevents.co.uk/preston/

FREE: Feast for Peace, Preston, Saturday, August 31

Celebrate Preston’s cultural diversity. Join the Feast for Peace event on Preston Flag Market where there will be plenty of opportunities to eat, listen to music and dance together. This year, in addition to showcasing Preston’s diverse food and music culture, The Larder and Preston Food Partnership are teaming up with the Harris to celebrate the amazing food heroes of World War I. Feast for Peace runs from 12pm until 4pm. For more details visit www.facebook.com/TheLarderLancashire/

FREE: Free Parking, Preston, Saturday, August 31

See Emily Bronte's classic novel Wuthering Heights brought to life at Brockholes Natures Reserve

See Emily Bronte's classic novel Wuthering Heights brought to life at Brockholes Natures Reserve

The summer holidays are coming to end and the grown-ups are probably in need of something to celebrate their survival. What better way than a night out with one of the most popular jazz bands around - Free Parking. Join Harold Salisbury, Keith Ashcroft, Paul Burgess and Norm Helm as they set out their stall at the Vinyl Tap on Adelphi Street in Preston. Admission is free and the music starts at 9pm. It’s best to arrive early if you want a seat, otherwise it’s standing room only.

PAID: Classics at Hoghton Tower, Hoghton, Sunday, September 1

Enjoy a whole day out at Hoghton Tower, with classic cars on display on their tilting green. Expect classic cars, club stands, motorcycles, light commercials, ex-army vehicles, and classic 4x4s. There will also be trade stands and an auto jumble. Admission prices are £7 adults and £2.50 for children. Dogs are welcome on leads. Admission includes access to the event, tower courtyard, tearoom, and gardens. From 10am until 4pm. Visit www.hoghtontower.co.uk for more details.

PAID: Wuthering Heights, Samlesbury, Sunday, September 1

Vintage By the Sea in Morecambe has something for everyone

Vintage By the Sea in Morecambe has something for everyone

An outdoor adaptation of Emily Bronte’s haunting tale at Brockholes Nature Reserve. Join Heartbreak Productions for this adaptation of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights - a tale of two restless souls as wild and untamed as the bleak Yorkshire Moors. Make sure to pack a chair or blanket and a picnic as you settle down for the ghostly tale of wandering spirits and reckless love affairs. Children must be accompanied by an adult with a ticket. This production is recommended for children aged nine and over. Tickets include free car parking.

FREE: Vintage by the Sea Festival, Morecambe, Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1

Vintage by the Sea Festival returns to Morecambe to celebrate the brilliance of 20th century art, music, culture, design and style. With excellent DJs and live music at every turn, gorgeous classic cars, fabulous street theatre and market-places selling everything from tasty treats for foodies to vintage threads. Vintage fairground rides, swing dance lessons, creative workshops, pop-up vintage-era experiences and more. Takes place at various venues in Morecambe.

FREE: #AmazingAccrington Soapbox Challenge, Accrington, Saturday, August 31

After a hugely successful #AmazingAccrington Soapbox Challenge in September 2018, organisers are gearing up to host it for a second year. The last event saw 21 contestants, over 8000 spectators, and a flurry of family fun stalls and activities. ‘Soapbox cars’ were historically made from wooden soap crates, hence the name, but materials have become more varied since the first publicly recorded Soapbox race in 1904. Head to Accrington town centre for the fun, from 11.30am.

PAID: Craft in the Victorian Kitchen, Clitheroe, from Sunday, September 1

Head to Accrington town centre for the #AmazingAccrington Soapbox Challenge

Head to Accrington town centre for the #AmazingAccrington Soapbox Challenge

Craft every day in September at Clitheroe Castle Museum. What will you make? Viking longboats, penguin racers, bookworm bookmarks or roman helmets. You choose. When they’re gone they’re gone. Accompanied children aged 0 - 12 years welcome. Admission is £2.50 per craft. After you’ve crafted why not take a look at everything Clitheroe Castle Museum has to offer? Opening times are 11am until 4pm every day. For more information call the museum on 01200 424568.

FREE: Food & Drink Festival, Preston, Friday, August 30 and Saturday, August 31

Lancashire businesses through and through... Barton Grange’s Food and Drink Festival returns for its eighth year, promising a mouth-watering celebration of the best the north west has to offer. Producers from around the region will be setting up stalls, alongside tastings, demos, samples, and workshops. Whether you’re a fan of sweet, savoury, or both, there will be something for all tastes and ages. It takes place today and tomorrow - 10am until 4pm on both days. Admission is free. For more information visit www.bartongrange.co.uk/events/food-festival/

FREE: North West Reptile Club, Rufford, Sunday, September 1

Get up close to a host of cold-blooded creatures and learn fascinating facts about these unusual animals and how to care for them. This event will take place in the colourful gardens of Rufford Old Hall. It takes place on Sunday from 11am until 4pm. This is a free event but normal property admission prices apply, or free to National Trust members and under 5s.

PAID: Illuminations Tram Tours, Blackpool, from Sunday, September 1 until Sunday, November 3

One of the most popular ways to see Blackpool Illuminations is on a non-stop tours on the Illuminated or classic Heritage Trams. Regular tours depart from Blackpool Pleasure Beach Heritage Tram Stop every* evening from switch-on time until 9pm (10pm Sat). The tour takes around 60/70 minutes and on the return part of the tour you can alight at Bispham, Cabin and North Pier. No tours on August 30 and 31.

FREE: Let's Make, Darwen, Saturday, August 31

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, in collaboration with Crafty Vintage, are planning a spectacular finale to the summer holiday events programme with a free family fun day on Saturday. Hosted at the brand new Darwen Market Square, there’ll be everything from magic shows to a silent disco, Magical Story Jars, face painting, entertainment provided by Darwen School of Music and performances from a local singer and dance groups. Youngsters will be able to create their own masterpieces with craft sessions or they can take a turn on the potter’s wheel. Runs from 11am until 4pm.

PAID: An Evening With Eric and Ern, Blackpool, Sunday, September 1 and Monday, September 2

From the Olivier nominated duo behind the hugely celebrated and critically acclaimed West End hit comes An Evening of Eric of Ern with Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens. This is a brilliant homage crammed full of renditions of those famous comedy sketches, that hits all the right notes. Catch it at The Grand Theatre in Blackpool on Sunday and Monday at 7.30pm.

Kids will love to get hands on with snakes and more at North West Reptile Club at Rufford Old Hall

Kids will love to get hands on with snakes and more at North West Reptile Club at Rufford Old Hall

There's no better way to trip the light fantastic than by hopping on an Illuminations Tram Tour

There's no better way to trip the light fantastic than by hopping on an Illuminations Tram Tour

An Evening of Eric and Ern is being presented at Blackpool Grand Theatre

An Evening of Eric and Ern is being presented at Blackpool Grand Theatre