SANTA Claus came to town in spectacular fashion – as almost 100 of the jolly Christmas delivery men bounded around Darwen, all in the name of charity.

The first Darwen Santa dash was hailed a huge success by organisers from East Lancashire Hospice, who are now gearing up for a similar event in Clitheroe on December 7.

Participants paid £10 to dress as Santa and run round a 1km circuit, starting in the Market Square and heading up Railway Road, down Knott Street and Union Street, along Back Market Street and Market Street before finishing back in the Market Square.

The Christmas extravaganza in the town then culminated in the lights switch-on by children’s character The Snowman.

Earlier, the annual dressing of the Christmas tree by disabled children from Blackburn and Darwen was held for the tenth time.

The event was organised by teenage fundraiser Caitlin Jones, who was joined by firefighters from Darwen, and joint funded by Darwen Town Council and The Bridgewater pub, who provided a cooked breakfast for all who took part.

Fundraiser Kimberley Hall said: “The Santa dash was a great success with just short of 100 people taking part.

“Also, market stallholders dressed as Santa for the day and were all collecting donations on their stalls.

“And the hospice shop on Bridge Street stayed open until late serving mulled wine and mince pies and were also taking donations.”

Donations can also be text in. Text DASH48 £2 70700.