Famous Illuminations set to light up Sheffield

Blackpool Illuminations are being installed in Sheffield's Peace Gardens.
Blackpool Illuminations are being installed in Sheffield's Peace Gardens.
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Magical illuminations from Blackpool are set to add an extra sparkle to Sheffield city centre for Christmas.

The city centre lights switch-on event, on Sunday, November 18, will brighten up the Sheffield sky with exhibits from the famous Blackpool Illuminations in the Peace Gardens.

Sheffield is helping celebrate the centenary of the first public display of light in Blackpool by bringing some of the illuminations to South Yorkshire.

Richard Ryan, head of illuminations at Blackpool Council and originally from Sheffield, said: “As a child my parents used to take me to see the Blackpool Illuminations.

“I loved the atmosphere and spectacle of it. Ironically they were not the main interest for me back then. I was obsessed with my home town Sheffield’s spectacular Christmas display and Blackpool was seen by me as the ‘warm up’.

“Fast forward 40 years, an opportunity came about to partner with Sheffield on celebrating the centenary and we jumped at the chance.”

The illuminations will help to transform the Peace Gardens into a magical Winter Wonderland, making it the perfect place to bring the children on the day of the switch on for a free, child-friendly slice of Christmas.

The switch-on event begins with family fun from 1pm to 5.30pm, with the switch-on at 5pm.

Children’s TV characters will be appearing at the Town Hall and Pinstone Street, while Barker’s Pool will host a line-up of popular artists courtesy of Real Radio.

On top of that, the Winter Garden will be transformed into an enchanted forest, Santa will be waiting to meet visitors in this magical grotto and seasonal goodies will be on offer at the Christmas markets on Fargate.

Coun Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “The switch on of the Christmas lights in Sheffield is always a fantastic event and the addition of the iconic Blackpool illuminations can only make the day more exciting.

“With plenty of activities and entertainment planned throughout the day, there will be lots of festive fun for everyone in the city centre.”

Sheffield Council’s City Centre Management Team has been busy since April ensuring that there are more illuminations for this festive season.

There will be 173,246 lamps, 30 cross street displays and 79 illuminated columns lighting up Sheffield.

For more information about Sheffield Christmas City visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/christmas