Chorley’s Christmas lights switch on will celebrate the borough’s past and future on Sunday, 24 November.

A famous character from Chorley’s past will line up with mascots to celebrate the opening of the Market Walk extension to do the big switch on.

The new-look event will combine with the trader-run Totally Locally Chorley Christmas market and give an extra day’s trade for businesses in the run up to the festive period.

Cllr Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “This year’s big event to kickstart the festivities will celebrate Chorley’s past and future.

“We’ll have an appearance from the character playing Myles Standish in a series of theatrical performances as we mark 400 years since the voyage of the Mayflower to found America and we’ll have characters marking the launch of the new Star Wars film in Chorley and Penny Pig who will be opening the new M&S later that week.

“The line up of entertainment will feature local performers who have wowed the crowds at events like Chorley Live and the main focus of the day will be the Totally Locally Chorley Christmas Market that will see dozens of independent traders in town to help you find that perfect Christmas gift.”

The town’s Christmas celebrations have gone from strength to strength over the years attracting thousands of visitors and have been nominated as a finalist in the Lancashire Tourism Awards.

More than 60 independent traders have signed up to what should offer a great chance for people to buy Christmas gifts and enjoy a great day out.

The town’s independent stores and Covered Market will also be open an extra day to on the Sunday.

Victoria Garside, who helps to run the Totally Locally Chorley group and has been instrumental in the success of the Christmas Market last year, said: “We are just making final preparations and we hope lots of people will come and support the local traders.

“We’ve got a huge variety of stalls and it’ll certainly be a great day out and make for a very enjoyable day of shopping. There’ll be plenty of entertainment on during the day and it all builds up to the lights switch on which will provide a finale with fireworks at 5pm.”

The Totally Locally Chorley Christmas Market with Christmas lights switch on will take place on November 24 from 11am – the stage performances will kick off at 2.30pm on Market Street with the switch on at 5pm.

There will also be Christmas lights switch on in Buckshaw Village and Croston on December 1.