Morecambe sparkled on Saturday night
The sparkle came back to Morecambe last Saturday when Morecambe BID’s EDF Morecambe Sparkle switch on occurred. New Town Square was packed for the second year running. The lights were switched on by Zac Richmond, a user of Unique Kidz & Co’s services. Unique Kidz is a Morecambe-based charity; Zac was also presented with a Christmas hamper from Morrisons.
During the day, across the town centre, the crowds were entertained with free, family-friendly Christmas fun including Ghost Caribou from Thingumajig Theatre and Christmas Elves on Stilts!
Leading up to the switch on event, the Cairngorm reindeer were at Central Drive Retail Park, outside Next, for two hours before they pulled the sleigh following the Christmas procession down the promenade to New Town Square. The magical Ghost Caribou performers led the procession. The Elves on Stilts also took part in the procession along with a large number of the public. Zac rode in the sleigh accompanied by Santa.
As the procession passed certain iconic buildings the now familiar Morecambe BID, space flowers fired up, along with more subtle lighting on the old Woolworths and Hitchens buildings, and the Winter Gardens.
In another magical turn at the end of the event a young couple, Brad Padgett and Holly Cooper, announced their engagement at the Christmas Tree. Bradley had ordered a special Celtic-style engagement ring as he plays the bagpipes. As Holley was coming down from Whalley he thought it would be a nice Christmassy surprise. She said “Yes”!
Morecambe was one of the first seaside resorts in the United Kingdom to introduce an illuminations scheme. They ran from 1919 until 1996 until budget cuts and safety issues caused them to be cancelled.
The new lighting schemes have been brought about by nostalgia and a genuine demand by the local population to have some form of light show in Morecambe over winter.
Due to the overwhelming acceptance of the initial Morecambe Sparkle in 2016, in 2017 BID continued investing in spectacular space flowers which can be seen for up to 10 miles.
In 2018 BID has invested further in street lighting and, for this first time, the Central Drive Retail Park have their own Christmas display with every light pole dressed with a 5 metre LED-lit Christmas tree.
Morecambe BID has also permanently lit the Barclays Bank building in Euston Rd, and the old church on Chapel Street in multi-coloured LED lights. Both these building are of architectural significance, and the lighting greatly enhances their appearance at night.
John O’Neill, Manager of Morecambe BID, said: “We will continue to invest in lighting schemes in Morecambe as we believe it will not also benefit the local and night time economies for residents and visitors alike, but will also add to a sense of well-being amongst the local population. We have a couple of exciting installations planned in future, but these things take time from conception to installation”.
Throughout December Morecambe BID is also running the Selfie with an Elfie competition. In 12 locations around the Morecambe BID zone, there are famous elves. People can get a picture with themselves and upload it to the Morecambe BID page. They can also complete the full trail. More details here… https://morecambebid.com/festivals-events-2018/?event_id1=331
Morecambe BID would like to thanks the local sponsors and partners who have managed to make it happen again this year – EDF Energy, Morecambe Town Council, More Music and last, but not least, all the BID levy payers.
Photography by Jonathan Bean Photography