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Friday, 30 August 2013

Queen Of The Lights! Miss Blackpool At 2013 Illuminations Switch-On.

Back in the "good old days" when the Blackpool Illuminations switch-on event was big free party aimed at families who could all go down together and watch, the reigning Miss Blackpool was invited as a VIP guest.

Previously, there had been a separate "Queen Of The Lights" competition and then, later on, Miss Blackpool was proclaimed Queen of the Lights in a glittering ceremony.

Unfortunately, Miss Blackpool's involvement in the Lights switch on was diminished over the years and then due to "cutbacks", she wasn't even invited at all.

A lot of people may not realise that the Miss Blackpool Bathing Beauty Contest (as it was originally known) was set up by Blackpool Council in the 1950s to help promote the town and to boost tourism.

Now, almost 60 years on, the Miss Blackpool title remains one of the most prestigious and sought-after beauty titles in the country and people still travel from miles around to enter the competition and to watch the heats and the final - bringing their families and supporters to Blackpool in the process.

In this year's Miss Blackpool heats, people travelled from right across the northwest and beyond to have a go at getting to the final. At the final itself, there was huge group that had travelled from Wigan to support one of the girls, another from Blackburn and another from Stockport.

Similarly - at the Armed Forces Gala dinner in June, you only have to look at how excited the groups of war veterans current servicemen are to meet the current titleholder, have their photos taken with her and maybe have a bit of a dance...   to see how much people around the country love the whole idea of Miss Blackpool.

Anyway, because of all this we felt so strongly that Miss Blackpool ought to be present at this year's Illuminations switch on that we invited her as our own VIP to the next best thing - the Switch On evening at the Sands Venue, in the warm - out of the wind  - overlooking the promenade.

Incidentally, this was not some sort of "hospitality freebie" - we paid for it ourselves out of our own hard earned pennies - as we do every year with all our Miss Blackpool tickets and Armed Forces Gala dinner tickets. 

As it turned out, we had a really nice meal and enjoyable long chat with Kendall and Michael and we are very much looking forward to helping Kendall Rae Knight spread the word about Miss Blackpool and Blackpool as a resort during her year of office.

Sorry about the rant - but some things do need saying from time to time....

You can find out more about the historic and prestigious Miss Blackpool competition at www.missblackpool2013.co.uk

Photo:  Miss Blackpool 2013 Kendall Rae Knight at the Illuminations Switch On at the Sands