Matlock Bath Illuminations celebrate their 119th birthday this year, running every Saturday and Sunday until 29 October.
Judging of the famous illuminated boats will also take place on the opening night, with entertainment, including the Peak FM roadshow, starting at 7pm, together with a live performance by Sheffield singing sensation Max Restaino before he joins Rebecca Ferguson on her 2016 UK Tour. See his video below.
The Illuminations – organised by your Dales District Council - will then run every weekend until Saturday 29 October, with the Derwent Gardens and Lovers’ Walks bedecked with colourful lights throughout the season.
A fabulous fireworks finale takes place every Saturday from 17 September. Sundays feature special family oriented themed nights and performances by brass bands in the Derwent Gardens bandstand.
The first Sunday is themed ‘Sporting Heroes’ – with youngsters encouraged to come along in fancy dress. Crafts and activities will be provided by local Guide groups and Ashbourne Town Band will add to the entertainment.
The unique parade of illuminated boats takes place at 8pm on opening night and happens twice on fireworks Saturdays at 7.45pm and 9.15pm. The parade is scheduled for 7.45pm on September Sundays and slightly earlier – 7.30pm – on Sundays in October.
Chairman of the District of the Derbyshire Dales Councillor Councillor Tom Donnelly, who will push the button to bring the new season to life, said:
"Last year's Illuminations attracted well over 100,000 visitors to Matlock Bath, with around 50,000 paying visitors.
“The great thing about the Illuminations is they bring in visitors from far and wide, boosting the local economy, but the District Council works hard to ensure the event costs Derbyshire Dales Council Tax payers absolutely nothing. We're hoping visitor numbers are high again for the 2016 season of a fabulous traditional festival."
There are different charges again this year for Saturdays and Sundays in recognition of the different levels of entertainment provided on each night.
Visitors who buy tickets in advance online pay £6 for Saturday and £5 for Sunday - £1 less than people paying on the night. Advance price concessions will pay £5 and £4, but £6 and £5 on the night. Entry is free for accompanied under 16s.
It means a family of two adults and two or more under 16s will continue to enjoy a Saturday night out at Matlock Bath Illuminations for just £12 - including a fireworks finale - if they buy in advance.
Advance sales give the District Council improved monitoring of likely crowds and give it the option to designate certain nights "all ticket" if necessary.
- Park and Ride services operate on firework nights from 6pm from Derbyshire County Council Offices car park to Matlock Bath Station and from Cromford Meadows to Matlock Bath Pavilion.
- Hourly trains to Matlock Bath from Derby and Nottingham operate Monday to Saturday and every two hours on Sundays - for more details go to www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/derwentvalleyline