BLACKBURN Shopping Centre played host to a fun-packed day of activities on Saturday to launch International Women's Week 2001.

International dancing, courtesy of Blackburn School of Irish Dancing, the Blackburn School of Dance and Performing Arts and the Ossy Cloggers was just part of the fun-filled event.

The fun also included a road show and street entertainers.

The event was officially launched by the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Councillor Jack Bury.

Throughout the day, a number of women's organisations from the borough held displays alongside a street cafe set up in Victoria Square.

DJ Paul Booth entertained the crowds with the latest tunes.

Youngsters got their hands on a host of giveaways, including balloons and keyrings.

Councillor Maureen Bateson is chairman of the International Women's Week Forum.

She voiced the council's backing for the event and explained the thinking behind the festival. "Blackburn with Darwen Council supports this week-long celebration that aims to recognise and value the diversity of women's contributions to activities within the local community and beyond," she said. PICTURE: Heather Brown and eight-year-old daughter Jessica at the launch