Accrington saw a huge turn out for its Christmas lights switch on featuring Emmerdale actor Dominic Brunt and singer Junior Andre.

Taking place on Thursday, November 23 from 4pm to 7.45pm, the packed line-up attracted a crowd of 12,000 to start the run up to Christmas in style.

Children were involved, with the Collective School Choir bringing together pupils to provide a fantastic choir of hundreds. It was led by Helen Davis, from St Christopher’s High School.

The main stage line-up included a lively dance performance from students at Burnley College, singing from Sophie Stott, songs from the shows with the Sing Space Musical Theatre Choir, a Michael Jackson tribute act, the Accrington Pipe Band and appearances from Santa and Buddy the Elf, before the crowds went wild for Junior.

Players from Accrington Stanley and Accrington Stanley Women gave away 200 free footballs, Sara Britcliffe MP brought the winners of her Christmas Card competition on stage, and the winners of Julie Hesmondhalgh’s ‘Winter Writing Trail’ were given their prizes on the main stage in front of a cheering crowd.

Sponsored by Hyndburn Borough Council, North Lancs Training Group, Sundown Solutions, Prosperity Children’s Services and Financial Affairs, the 2023 #AmazingAccrington Christmas Light Switch On happened at 7.30pm with Emmerdale legend Dominic, best known as Paddy pushing the plunger, followed by a spectacular fireworks display.

The event was hosted by BBC Radio Lancashire’s Stephen Lowe.

There were plenty of activities for the children, with Buddy the Elf and Santa on hand for those all important photos, lots of fairground rides on Broadway and a Santa penalty shoot-out with the Accrington Stanley Community Trust.

Accrington Market was transformed into an amazing Christmas Market for the event. The tree was up, stalls inside and outside, a bucking reindeer and a special pop up shop from the highly successful Great Harwood business, Finch Bakery.

Cllr Marlene Haworth, leader of Hyndburn Borough Council, said: “Christmas has started with a fantastic event in #AmazingAccrington, and it really was brilliant to see everyone enjoying themselves.

“People came out to watch the amazing show, and also shopped local and had the tills ringing in town!”

Murray Dawson, chair of #AmazingAccrington, said: “We wanted to go even bigger and better for the Light Switch On this year and we worked incredibly hard to deliver an event which everyone could enjoy.

“We were blown away by the response to our fantastic event and you couldn’t miss the big screen – we even made it snow, and definitely made sure everyone knew it was the start of Christmas!”

Sameena King, manager at Accrington Market, said: “The #AmazingAccrington Christmas Light Switch On is one of the best events of the year and we’re always delighted to play a big part in it.

“The crowds were immense and this event really helps to support our traders and charity stalls. And it’s great fun and a smashing start to the Christmas season!”