A HUGE crowd gathered to see Fireman Sam switch on Burnley's Christmas lights today.

Thousands of people descended on St James’s Street to enjoy the festive entertainment.

They were treated to live music from the Burnley Alliance Silver Band, performances from Burnley’s Got Talent finalists and a visit from Father Christmas.

A spectacular rooftop firework display rounded off the event.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle, who attended the switch-on, said: “I have never seen the town as busy, there were a few thousand people.

"It was heaving and that was at half past two.”

Coun Peter McCann said: “Burnley’s Christmas Lights Switch On Event is an excellent showcase of local artists and confirms the treasure trove of talent that Burnley has to offer.”

The event was attended by the Mayor and the Mayoress of Burnley, Coun David Heginbotham and Mrs Joan Heginbotham.

The switch-on marks the start of Christmas late night shopping, with many shops staying open until 8pm every Thursday.