As you walk along, the smell of candy floss and fish and chips drifts along making even the most diet conscious person hungry. The sound of amusement machines mix with the bingo callers legs eleven. Children run round playing as parents stroll with push-chairs. The yelling of 'come on England' echoes out of the bars together with the smell of beer. Where else could this be Blackpool promenade popular with over 14.5 million visitors each year.
Britain's favourite seaside town has had quite a checkered couple of decades with the loss of the traditional holiday-maker to warmer foreign destinations, but with a lot of investment from central Government and EU funding this is changing. The recession over the last couple of years has given rise to the 'stay-cation', and with various high profile events happening, such as The Royal Variety Show, Strictly Come Dancing and an ever improving Blackpool Illuminations attracting big names. As summer gave way to the autumn, the 2010 Illuminations burst into town along with six mile traffic jams. Robbie Williams was this years celebrity to do the grand switch-on with a reported half a million people for the first nights festivities. The promenade is once again packed with people looking in amazement at the imaginative seafront displays, and nearby hotels packed, people once again turn to Blackpool, named the 'Las Vegas of the North' for entertainment and partying.
The future of the town is looking fairly secure now with major works approaching completion such as the new promenade and new developments as you enter the town. Originally planned at Â£65m, the seafront has been totally redeveloped from Squires Gate (near Lytham St Annes) up as far as the North Pier. The seafront area has been expanded to reclaim some of the beachfront, and has had a series of Headlands added, the largest being in front of Blackpool Tower. This is due to open in the summer of 2011 and is going to be an outdoor dance and performance area giving a major new attraction to the area.
After another night of packed bars, restaurants, nightclubs and probable hangovers, Blackpool says goodbye to 2010 in the only way it knows how - having fun.