THIS year’s festive season in Blackburn will be given a fiery start.

Instead of the normal singing and dancing stage show outside the town hall, the town’s Christmas lights switch-on in the town centre on Saturday, November 25, will be a flame, light and firework experience designed to attract all ages.

International outdoor arts company, Walk The Plank, will transform the cathedral grounds into a spectacular fire garden installation for families.

It will be followed by a fire and light display paid for by Blackburn with Darwen Council, Blackburn Business Improvement District and The Mall.

As dusk falls at 4.30pm, the mayor Colin Rigby will be joined by celebrity guest, Sam Thompson of Channel 4's reality show Made In Chelsea, to welcome visitors through a firelit archway into the cathedral grounds.

They can then wander through a forest glowing with fire sculptures and fiery installations forming a glowing garden landscape.

Young and old will be able to explore flame-lined paths among copper flowers that breathe fire, intricately carved flaming flower boxes, and scorching sculptural trees.

At 6.30pm, crowds will count down to a grand finale to the wizardry of Flame Oz’s light show which will lead into a high-rise aerial dance from the Ice Queen’s assistant, the Ice Fairy.

A firework finale will precede the switch-on of the Christmas lights.

There will be a pop-up Festive Street Feast on King William Street throughout the day and a meet and greet in The Mall with Sam Thompson.

Blackburn BID manager Harriet Roberts said: “Working with an internationally acclaimed company like Walk The Plank provides us with an opportunity to showcase the new Blackburn to new audiences.”

Cllr Phil Riley, council regeneration boss, said: “This year’s switch-on sounds fantastic and will be a great showcase for the best that Blackburn town centre and the Cathedral Quarter has to offer and a great start to the festive season.”

Mrs Roberts added: "An experiential rather than crowd stage show event is a chance for us to bring new audiences to the town centre and to offer something for all the family which will bring pleasure to all ages.”

Last year, Jack P Shepard, who plays David Platt in Coronation Street, and Britain's Got Talent act Boogie Storm were the VIP guests.