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SO 2009 - Skegness Illuminations Success

Skegness was flooded with visitors, fireworks and lights last weekend as the SO 2009 festival kicked off.

Music, entertainment, cabaret and even opera were on the menu for this cultural extravaganza that featured the lights switch on and of course, the obligatory fireworks.

Thousands of people watched in wonder as "The World Famous" presented Terrafolk with the incredible fireworks display, followed by the countdown and the switching on of the lights.

The World Famous was formed in 1999 by a group of pyrotechnicians and designers who wanted to explore new ways of working with fire and fireworks.

Since then, they have been creating shows which blend pyrotechnics with performance, large images, music, projection, procession and/or community involvement.

More than 8000 people had gathered on central beach and were bathed in colour as the atmospheric and sometimes spooky music washed over them and the fireworks whistled and crackled above.

Mayor of Skegness Coun Pat Phillips said: "It was fabulous. The atmosphere was electric and I think everybody has enjoyed it so much... I've never seen so many people here."

She led the switch-on countdown with Lincs FM presenter and the evening's host Eddie Shaw, and chairman of East Lindsey District Council Coun Stan Avison.

Success for Skegness, although there were a few reservations about the timing of the lights switch on, to wait for the dark it meant that the lights werent lit till 10:45pm. This was a bit of a burden on the hundreds of children who were there eagerly awaiting the spectacle. It was also whispered that perhaps Skegness wasn't the best choice of location for an Opera. That said the opera was enjoyed by hundreds and Skegness took several large steps away from its image as a dreary has-been holiday town, and moved towards its bright (very well illuminated anyway) future as a cultural venue that can not only tolerate the arts but has something to contribute. Well done Skeggy!

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