BOY band star and actor Simon Webbe has been revealed as the celebrity who will switch on Darwen’s Christmas lights this year.

The Blue singer will be joined by talented local performers for the big event on November 16.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Simon Webbe as Aladdin

Darwen School of Music is providing acts for the event including Jacob Reddy, Bella Dearden, Paul Stuart Davies, Jason Kenny and Liam Allman.

There will be guest appearances from Emilia, a singer-songwriter and former X Factor contestant, the dancers and cast members from Pinocchio, this year’s pantomime at Darwen Library Theatre and Father Christmas himself before special guest Simon takes to the stage.

The event will be in the hands of Radio DJs Joel Ross and Rob Ellis who are the hosts for the evening.

Activity begins inside Darwen Market with the Greatest Circus and Interactive Theatre Show from 3pm.

Then stilt walkers and fire dancers make their way on to Darwen Market Square at 4.30pm to 5pm for a circus inspired display to complement the entertainment on the stage.

There will also be fairground rides and stalls and a finale of fireworks set to music.

Each Saturday following the Christmas lights switch-on there will be Christmas craft activities in Darwen Market for families to enjoy.

School choirs will be performing on Fridays in December and Santa’s grotto will open all on Saturdays in December leading up to Christmas in the Market.

This year there will be late night opening on Wednesday December 18 until 8pm and Sunday opening on Sunday December 22 10am -3pm.

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen regeneration boss, said: “This is a popular event that is traditionally well supported and we expect this year to be no exception. This year the focus has been on making the event a platform to showcase our local talent alongside the headline acts which it looks set to do.”

“The event marks the start of a packed Christmas programme in Darwen that people can enjoy whilst they carry out their Christmas shopping and other festive activities.”

The switch-on is being sponsored by Duckworth’s Estate Agents, who are investing into Darwen with the opening of their new office within the old JobCentre in 2020.

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Details of Blackburn’s lights switch-on will be revealed shortly.