Visitors flocked to Burnley at the weekend, as the town’s Christmas celebrations got underway with the lights switch on event.

There was a variety of free, festive activities for people to enjoy throughout the day, ranging from meeting seasonal characters and playing crazy golf to enjoying live music and watching the magical lantern parade.

Crowds enjoyed a live stage show during the afternoon, before the event culminated with the lights switch on at 5pm which was accompanied by the firing of snow cannons.

Organised by Burnley Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with Burnley Council, Burnley Leisure and Culture, Charter Walk and Burnley Markets, the festivities saw thousands visit the town as the countdown to Christmas officially began.

Shirley Blackledge, from Burnley BID, said: “Seeing so many people enjoying the event on Saturday embodied our theme for this year’s seasonal celebrations, which is that Burnley believes in the magic of Christmas.

“Alongside our partners, our aim was to create a memorable day that the whole family could enjoy, while also raising awareness of everything the town centre has to offer.

"The smiling faces definitely made all of the planning and preparation worthwhile.”

Mark Dempsey from Burnley Leisure, and BID board member, said: “It was great to see Burnley buzzing on Saturday, and the feedback from the event so far has been excellent.

"I hope all of the visitors keep returning to the town centre in the run up to Christmas as we have everything you need here for celebrating the most wonderful time of the year.”

Both Charter Walk and Burnley Markets are hosting yuletide activities over a number of weekends in December, while a Christmas artisan market will provide ample opportunity for gift buying on Saturday, December 2.

Burnley College hosts its Winter Wonderland spectacular on the same day, while Charter Walk and Discover Burnley have teamed up to support Burnley Leisure in bringing Santa’s grotto to town over a number of dates in November and December.

The Burnley Mechanics Theatre has a packed schedule too, which includes its popular pantomime in the new year.