Last week I had another grand idea; one that resulted in approximately four hours stuck in traffic. As you can probably guess the boyfriend loves it when I announce we’re off on a mini-adventure.
The week before a friend had mentioned she wasn’t going to the Blackpool Firework Championships this year. Firework Championships? How had I never heard of this? I made a mental note and googled it later on. It turns out the Firework Championships started on the 11th of September and is on basically every Friday evening up until the 2nd October, the official website doesn’t make it overly clear where in Blackpool it is, it just mentions the tower but FYI the fireworks are actually on the beach. Can you believe we’re talking about October already? I haven’t even started out on my New Year’s Resolutions yet. Ooops. Anyway, it’s a free event, and has a different nation competing every week.
Ever the optimist, I was fairly excited about this affair. I love fireworks (which is always a bonus if you’re going to the Fireworks Championships) and all that they symbolise. Well OK, not the idea of blowing up buildings like Guy Fawkes; I’m thinking more the arrival of autumn. I’m thinking about big cosy jumpers, log fires and spending a soon-regretted extra twenty minutes in bed in the morning because the world outside the quilt is so darn cold and grim compared to the covers and cuddles.
Just a heads up, parking was horrendous. I think I may have been to Blackpool once or twice before – but it’s not really my thing, so I’m not sure if parking is always that bad. But trust me. It was bad. It was the kind of bad where you begin glaring at smug gits who are parked outside their own homes. After we finally found a parking spot we headed down to the beach. The website claimed that Rock FM was starting the build up at about 7.30pm before the fireworks started at 8.30.
The website lied.
To be fair; there was a solitary bloke muttering into a microphone every half an hour so, stood in front of a Rock FM banner. Though he may have just been some nutter with a megaphone, as nobody could tell what he was actually saying.
To escape the crowds of small children and generally bewildered and slightly drunk crowds, we bobbed into a chippy and got some chips. When in Rome and all that.
Whilst chowing down, we heard a bang, then another. Rushing outside, the fireworks had started. The fireworks were nice, they sparkled and boomed. But weren’t exactly impressive. They were the sort of fireworks that are on display in your local town; after the council has had to tighten its belt a bit. France obviously wasn’t taking the Championships too seriously; possibly just shipping someone out the night before with whatever explosives they could muster. I would like to include a photo here, but all mine are a bit blurred and the ‘official’ photographs look a lot better than the event did in reality. It feels like borrowing an official image or two would be misleading you.
They lasted for a grand ten minutes; though it took the crowd of people another five to realise that was it. We all looked from our own groups, to the other groups of people wondering if this was just a lull, a starter before the main course. Finally a chap behind us announced that it was all over, and slowly people started to move on.
We made our way back to the car and soon discovered that in a blinding moment of intellect; the Blackpool officials had closed all the main roads out of Blackpool. What we expected to be a 50min car journey turned out to be three hours. As chief navigator, I was using my phone as the map, which lets you know exactly how fast you are going; and the excitement in the car really hit a high when we managed 3 miles an hour for a brief stint.
If you live in Blackpool and have a free half-hour, the Championships might be worth a visit; but on the whole they’re just a bit disappointing.