EVEN though an East Lancashire town centre had to miss out on its Christmas switch on because of coronavirus restrictions it is now brightly illuminated with a brand new set of festive lights.

Darwen Town hall has been dressed in beautiful waterfall lights, the Christmas tree is lit and standing proud in the square and there are new decorations adorning the bandstand in School Street.

The town's market has been sprinkled with Christmas magic too with a new Christmas display in time for the return of the ever-popular pop up markets on December 5th.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's electricians have been working late in to the night to put the finishing touches to the brand new lighting displays.

Darwen East Liberal Democrat Cllr Paul Browne welcomed the new display saying: "It is a better array of lights than we had last year. I think people will notice the difference."

Among the selection of new festive decorations are snowflake trees in Darwen Market using handcrafted snowflakes created by children at the town's Primary School

Crafty Vintage have made a festive walk through in the market.

The borough council sourced the 14 3ft Christmas trees for the display from local business Paul Haley Christmas Trees to complement the traditional crib

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council's regeneration boss, said: “We know that some of our residents have been putting their Christmas decorations up early to help them get in to the Christmas spirit and we hope the lights in Darwen town centre will help spread some festive cheer too.

“There’s no doubt that 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year with so many having to sacrifice so much.

“We’ve had to do things a little different this year as we couldn’t have the popular Christmas lights switch on, but I do hope residents young and old will visit the town and enjoy the new lights.

“There’s lots of Christmas spirit in the market and our traders need our support now more than ever before."

While Darwen Rotary won’t be able to invite Santa to their traditional grotto event this year, they’re instead offering Zoom calls with Father Christmas.