Blackpool has been named as one of the UK’s six Cities of Circus.
The resort will be included in a year-round programme of events in 2018 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the very first circus in this country.
In 1768, in the heart of London, entrepreneur and showman Philip Astley drew out a ring and filled it with astonishing acts – tumblers, horses, acrobats, jugglers and clowns.
Since then, circuses have become an integral part of live entertainment throughout the world – and no more so than in Blackpool where The Blackpool Tower Circus first opened to the public in May 1894 and has not missed a season since.
The six Cities of Circus – which also include Bristol, Great Yarmouth, London, Belfast and Newcastle-under-Lyme – will each put on a series of special events next year as their contribution to the anniversary.
In Blackpool, the finishing touches are being put to plans to celebrate with a programme of live entertainment and art exhibitions.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We are delighted that Blackpool has been named as one of the UK’s six Cities of Circus.
“The Blackpool Tower Circus is one of the best known across the world and has made the resort synonymous with this form of family entertainment. We look forward to showcasing our contribution to the celebrations during 2018.”
Dea Birkett, Ringmaster at Circus250, says, “Circus250 celebrates the past but looks to the future. Over the last 250 years, circus – the original pop up – has continually evolved and reinvented itself. Each of our six Cities of Circus demonstrate through their fabulous histories and awe-inspiring current circus, just how enduring and innovative circus is.’
British artist Sir Peter Blake has designed the Circus250 logo so all participating events are instantly recognisable as part of the UK-wide celebrations.