More details have been revealed about this year’s Blackpool illuminations, including information about the switch on and new additions to the display.

On the evening of Friday 1 September, the stars of Nickelodeon, the world’s favourite children’s TV channel, will take over the Golden Mile in a spectacular float parade.

Starting from Central Pier, the parade will feature larger-than-life characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Baby Shark, Monsters High and Transformers.

They will be joined by around 100 dancers, musicians and street performers as they make their way to the Tower Festival Headland for a free family party including live music and entertainment leading up to the special moment when a guest celebrity will switch on the famous lights, triggering the start of a four-month illuminations season.

That will be followed by a specially-commissioned sound and light show on Blackpool Tower that will be synchronised with LED wristbands to be given out to spectators, and then topped off with a fireworks finale over the seafront.

The whole event will be free to access with no tickets required. The build-up will commence from 7pm, with the float parade scheduled to start around 7.30pm.

Among the performers in the grand parade will be Lancashire’s own Rossendale Scout Group Band, a talented group of young musicians who have performed all over the UK, including an appearance at Windsor Castle in front of the Queen.

A VisitBlackpool spokesperson said: “This is the first time, post-COVID, that we have been able to bring the full switch-on event back outside – and we are determined to make it a party to remember.

“The Nickelodeon team are working on some amazing floats that will bring to life some of their best-loved children’s TV shows. The parade, combined with live music, fireworks and a dazzling light display, should make this the ultimate way to say goodbye to the summer holidays and hello to the start of our extended Illuminations season.”

The identity of this year’s switch-on star will be announced in the coming weeks.

A spectacular tribute to one of the world’s most iconic fighter aircraft will be unveiled in this year’s display.

The installation, which is a collaboration between the Blackpool Illuminations team and designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, will feature three replica Spitfires. It marks the first time that 3D printing technology has been used to create Illuminations features.

It can also be revealed that in a ground-breaking partnership with VisitBlackpool, the internationally-renowned model kit company, Airfix, is to sponsor the new installation as well as producing a limited-edition, scale model of a Spitfire with a bespoke Blackpool livery on its fuselage.

The new-look Spitfire Island, which will be unveiled when the Illuminations season commences on Friday September 1, will be positioned on Gynn Roundabout in the northern stretch of the Illuminations.

It includes replicas of three Spitfires – Progress I, II and III – which were all based at Blackpool Airport during World War Two, and paid for by local residents. The project has been assisted by the team at the Hangar 42 Spitfire Visitor Centre at Blackpool Airport who provided historical data to help the build.

Earlier this year, it was announced that the Illuminations would once again be extended by two months, running nightly until January 1, 2024. Following the launch of the giant Odyssey installation during 2022, the Illuminations manufacturing team are working on three brand new light installations for the coming season.