HUNDREDS got into the festive spirit over the weekend as a celebrity rolled into town to turn on the Christmas lights.

Chart-topping popstar Simon Webbe met lucky competition winners in Darwen’s new town square before officially turning on the Christmas Lights on Saturday evening.

The Blue singer was happy to pose for selfies with adoring fans before getting down to business and illuminating the town.

Performers from the Darwen School of Music were heavily involved in the event, with 7 of the 11 acts - including Claudia Thompson, Jason Kenny, Liam Allman and vocal coach Paul Stuart Davies all taking to the stage to entertain the masses.

Lancashire Telegraph: Eight-year-old Bella Dearden, from the Darwen School of Music, shone on stage

Crowds were also treated to performances from the former X Factor contestant Emilia, dancers and cast members from Pinocchio, this year’s pantomime at Darwen Library Theatre, and Father Christmas himself.

Paul McBride was at the event with his wife Helen and their three children and said that this year’s event ‘was the best yet.’ He said: “Over the years the light switch-on has been a bit hit-and-miss. Sometimes its down to the weather and sometimes the entertainment just isn’t that great, but this year’s event has been really good.

“The funfair rides are great for the kids and there are plenty of stalls to get food and drink from while soaking up the atmosphere.

“It’s great to see everyone out enjoying themselves in a family-friendly environment - it makes a nice change to a lot of the anti-social behaviour we have been experiencing in the area of late.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Liam Allman from the Darwen School of Music on stage with his guitar at the lights switch-on.

The event got underway at 3pm inside Darwen Market with the Greatest Circus and Interactive Theatre Show.

Stilt walkers and fire dancers then made their way onto the market square and wowed the crowds as music got underway on the stage.

The night came to a close after a special fireworks display to officially mark the start of Christmas in Lancashire.

Ethel Morton, who was at the event with her granddaughter Sarah, said the pair had thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon at the event.

The 67-year-old said: “It’s been a lovely thing to do this weekend and it has really got us all in the Christmas Spirit.

“The silly season has officially begun!”