Every year since 1879 over a million bulbs light up the streets of Blackpool for 66 days during the autumn season.

Blackpool Illuminations is an annual lights festival that's been going for nearly 150 years and is held at the British seaside resort on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire.

Known locally as The Lights or The Illuminations, the event was described by tourists as "artificial sunshine" on the year of its launch due to its warm and comforting glow during the cold months.

For fans, this year proves to be extra special, as the 10 kilometres of Blackpool Illuminations run for an additional two months 2Chill reports.

The illuminations begin today on Friday, September 3 and run each day until January 3 next year – with times getting progressively earlier as the evenings draw in.

With so much excitement surrounding this classic British tourist attraction, our sister site 2Chill has rummaged through the archives to find some of our favourite pictures from the seaside town.

  1. 1 of 8 (Image: Handout)

    A shot of the beautiful lights with the tower looming overhead.

  2. 2 of 8 (Image: Getty Images)

    Here the lights show a literal carnival of colour, really showcasing that the annual switch-on isn't just your traditional string lights and sparkle.

  3. 3 of 8 (Image: Colin Horne – Manchester Evening News)

    This cracking photo of fireworks over the tower from 2019 captures the vibrancy of the illuminations.

  4. 4 of 8 (Image: PR HANDOUT)

    The display stretches along the Promenade from Starr Gate at the south end of the town to Bispham in the north.

  5. 5 of 8 (Image: Getty Images)

    Here we have an aerial view of Blackpool Tower and Central Pier from a drone on October 06, 2020.

  6. 6 of 8 (Image: Daily Mirror)

    While this image is in black and white, it shows that the lights were no less bright in 1966. This picture of the Blackpool Tower shows off its autumnal lights during the Conservative Party conference in 1966.

  7. 7 of 8 (Image: Mirrorpix)

    And here, this photo taken in 1952, shows just how much a beacon of light the illuminations are in the winter night.

  8. 8 of 8 (Image: Mirrorpix)

    Here is a fun fact- the original lighting in 1879 preceded Thomas Edison's patent of the light bulb by a year. This picture of Blackpool Illuminations is from 1956.

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