Blackpool pays its own tributes on VE Day Anniversary
The nation’s favourite holiday resort is paying its own special tributes to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Blackpool evokes fond memories for those evacuated to the resort, for the troops based here during the wartime years and for those who found respite from the horrors of war.
With the national events scaled back and Blackpool closed to visitors because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the resort is determined to add some sparkle to the celebrations on May 8 with a mixture of tributes and virtual activities.
To mark the occasion, some of the key venues and attractions will be illuminated in red, white and blue over the Bank Holiday weekend including the Big Wheel on Central Pier, the dome of the Winter Gardens, the promenade-fronted Hampton by Hilton hotel, the seafront Cenotaph and the Lightworks Illuminations depot.
In addition, the heart on The Blackpool Tower will be transformed into a Union Flag and the Blackpool Town Hall bell will ring out for five minutes at 3pm on the day, with both venues also flying the Union Flag.
Although the resort is out of bounds to visitors because of the lockdown, there are plenty of ways to thank our nation’s heroes from the comfort of home.
VisitBlackpool has commissioned two special recordings of the poem, Tribute To The Millions.
Blackpool’s own award-winning actress, Lucy Fallon, who starred in Coronation Street for five years, and TV star Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, who is the creative curator for the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations, have both recorded readings of the commemorative poem from their homes.
These can be viewed as part of a virtual guide on how families can enjoy the VE Day celebrations at www.visitblackpool.com. It also includes:
· A gallery of over 120 digitised photographs produced in association with Heritage Blackpool and The Blackpool Gazette newspaper giving a fascinating insight into the crucial role that the resort played during the war.
· How to raise a toast to our heroes and join the national “We’ll Meet Again” singalong
· Tips on how to arrange your own garden party and make your own bunting
· Special educational activities for children
And if you are missing all the fun and entertainment that Blackpool has to offer, there is also a Virtual Holiday package on the visitblackpool.com website featuring a brilliant online collection of rollercoaster rides, water slides, tours of venues and attractions, educational videos, and plenty of fun and games for the family to enjoy.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Blackpool is a place that evokes so many happy memories for a generation of people who came here during the wartime years.
“Over the years, our relationship with the armed forces community has been an enduring one and, in normal circumstances, we would have loved to have hosted a fitting celebration to mark such a special event in the nation’s calendar.
“But we will make sure that Blackpool marks the occasion and we hope that our visitors will enjoy what we are doing from the comfort of their homes. We look forward to meeting them again when it’s safe to come back.”
To view all the VE Day tributes, please click here.