THE sky was lit up with hundreds of lanterns as a light festival paraded through a town.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Blackburn town centre to watch the Blackburn Festival of Light spectacle take place.

Special guests Rev Kate Bottley, well- known on television and radio including BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4’s Gogglebox took part in a community carol concert at Blackburn Cathedral before the parade began in Ainsworth Street.

Men, women, young and old gazed at more than 200 lanterns which ranged from basic designs to more creative ones, including giant bees, reindeers, stars, planets and rockets.

Drums boomed and people clapped as the parade went through Ainsworth street, past the Bureau Centre for the Arts in Victoria Street, Richmond Terrace, Exchange Street, King William Street and Northgate.

A firework finale capped off the evening.

Helen Dawson, with her husband and seven-year-old daughter Chloe, from Clitheroe, took part in the event.

Mrs Dawson said: “It was amazing to be part of something like this.

“We came and made the lantern about two weeks ago and it was great because it got us to visit Blackburn as we don’t tend to come here often.

“Chloe made her own house and drew herself, her dad and I.

“The weather held off and it was not too cold.”

Chloe said she really liked making the house and it took her two hours to build.

The lantern festival is delivered in partnership by the Blackburn BID, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Blackburn Cathedral and the Blackburn Festival of Light team.

More than 40 free workshops were put on to create the lanterns thanks to Big Lottery funding.