Viva Morecambe! Sunshine Ball, Variety Festival and Morecambe Carnival this weekend

It's party time as the Morecambe Carnival returns!
It's party time as the Morecambe Carnival returns!

The town is gearing up for the biggest three days on the Morecambe entertainment calendar in many a year.

The Visitor newspaper has joined forces with two other big events to create one huge weekend for Morecambe starting tonight with our annual community awards night the Sunshine Ball.

This year the Sunshine Ball will be honouring the town’s favourite son, legendary comedian Eric Morecambe.

Thirty years on from his untimely death, Eric Morecambe will be given the prestigious Ambassador Award - awarded each year to the person who has done the most to put Morecambe on the map.

Previous winners have included TV personality Paul Hayes and Cedric Robinson MBE, Queen’s Guide to the Morecambe Bay sands.

Eric’s daughter Gail Stuart will be guest of honour at the Sunshine Ball to accept the award on her father’s behalf.

Held at the Midland hotel, the event will also crown our Sunshine Award winners in the categories Unsung Hero, Community Group, Business, Entertainment and Sport.

Visitor readers have been voting through the post and online to determine the winners.

There will be live music by The Paul Hayes Collection and a charity raffle and auction in aid of our Save Our Hospice appeal for St John’s Hospice.

Greg Lambert will host the awards with Paul Hayes taking charge of the auction.

The Morecambe Variety Festival continues the Viva Morecambe weekend on Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4 when the Winter Gardens theatre goes back in time to its variety heyday.

The Morecambe seafront theatre, which has been closed since 1977, will open its doors to the public for a weekend spectacular of magic, theatre, juggling, flea circus, acts, sideshows, comedy, burlesque and carnivals in the most atmospheric setting imaginable.

Two days of amazing sights, sounds, and weird and wonderful characters will include The Voodoo Temple, The Sideshow of Spectacle, The Cavern of Aquatic Oddities, and the Circus and Vaudeville.

All daytime events are free.

For those who love to dress up to the nines for a night of glamour, The Variety Festival also features the Around the World in 80 Days Grand Carnival Ball on the Saturday night at the Winter Gardens.

Guests will enjoy an evening of international award-winning cabaret acts, American Burlesque, vaudeville variety and circus acts in the faded grandeur of the old theatre.

This very special show will feature a live pre-show non stop entertainment from fire eaters, stilt walkers, sideshow men and women, plus acrobats, jugglers, comedy and magic with a truly international cast.

The Carnival Ball is a paid-for ticketed event.

For tickets and more information see

And then on Sunday, the Morecambe Carnival returns for the first time in nearly 15 years.

The Carnival parade will set off along Morecambe promenade at 2pm with floats, fancy dress and a theme of Around the World in 80 Days.

The Bay radio, celebrating their 21st year, will host the Carnival Main Stage at the Festival Arena on Morecambe promenade with music from noon, and live acts and headline names from 5pm to 9pm.

With a food village, fairground, bars, vintage and craft fair, a ‘City of Bounce’ with inflatables for kids, and an after-party at The Platform venue all lined up, this promises to be the biggest and best Morecambe Carnival ever.

It’s free entry to the Carnival so come along and join the party!

Finally, the Bank Holiday beat will go on into the evening of Sunday, May 4 with a party to end all parties.

Disco Inferno, the official Morecambe Carnival after-party, will takeplace at The Platform in Morecambe from 9am until late.

Expect soulful disco tunes from 1974 to 1984 from the resort’s finest DJs.

Creating this boogie wonderland will be DJs Steve Middlesbrough who will recreate his Dixieland days, Steve Blane as regulars from Harvey’s nightclub will remember, Ian Simpson, formerly of Crystal Ts and Phil Hayward, known for his days at 42nd Street.

There will also be performances from Dance Factory.

Tickets cost £5 and are available now from the box office.Call 01524 582803 or to buy online at or in person from Morecambe Visitor Information Centre, Station Buildings, Marine Road, Morecambe.