The organisers of a 60s festival have teamed up with the council to create a special Christmas lights switch on event.

Rossendale Council has joined forces with the Rossendale 60s Festival group to create an event for the Christmas lights switch in Rawtenstall on Friday November 24.

The switch-on event, called Christmas on the Square, will include stalls from a number of charities and voluntary organisations along with entertainment from Rossendale Radio, Water Village Band, Rossendale Male Voice Choir, Rossendale Ukelele Band and young singers Dotty and James.

One of the organisers, Peter Sweetmore, said: “It was an honour to be asked to do this following the huge success of the Sixties on the Square event in September, and we are happy to repeat the format that worked so well.”

The event will take place between 5pm and 9pm and the lights switch on will be done by the Mayor of Rossendale along with pupils nominated by their schools.

The following weekend, Saturday December 2, a Christmas festival will take place in Bacup from 10am until 4pm.

Organised by Bacup Now, the festival will include a traditional Christmas market with lots of unique gifts and products.

Entertainment will come from Mr Sweetmore as he takes to the DJ decks, Rossendale Radio, the Water Village Band, The Rossendale Ukulele Band, the Britannia Coconut Dancers, Dansworks and the Accrington Pipe Band.

All the entertainment will take place both on the market and on Irwell Terrace.

The terrace will also feature funfair stalls and rides, a disco dome, food and drink vendors and a Santa’s Grotto with a difference.

Barry Hyde, who has helped organise the event said: “The Grotto will be inhabited by naughty elves, so the children will see what happens in the Grotto when Santa’s not around.

“There will also be a living nativity, performed by the children from Christ Church in Bacup.

“Characters from the pantomime at Bacup Royal Court Theatre will be making an appearance along with the local fire and rescue service with their engine.

“The Imperial Alliance Stormtroopers will be touring the town centre collecting donations for a local charity and the Grinch will be doing its best to spoil the Christmas spirit.

“Bacup Now have done their best to keep costs down for visitors, and the vast majority of attractions and activities will be free.

“The festival has all the ingredients to be a great start to the festive season.”