All set for town’s festive switch-on

St Annes Christmas lights switch on 2012.'Father Christmas leads the procession on his sleigh. PIC BY ROB LOCK
St Annes Christmas lights switch on 2012.'Father Christmas leads the procession on his sleigh. PIC BY ROB LOCK

Businesses and residents are being urged to help make it a real united community effort as St Annes’ Christmas lights are turned on this weekend.

As the switch is pulled in the Square on Saturday afternoon, civic leaders hope shops and other premises will join in by shining lights of their own.

Four hours of entertainment, culminating in a lantern parade through The Square from the pier behind Father Christmas’s sleigh will precede the switch-on by stars of the Lytham panto Mother Goose, accompanied by town mayor Coun Viv Willder, at 4.15pm.

The switch-on is organised by St Annes Town Council in conjunction with panto venue Lowther Pavilion and town councillor Cheryl Little said: “We hope to see plenty of people at the switch-on and that as many premises as possible will join us in lighting up St Annes.”

Organisers have been delighted with the response from local businesses to a new feature this year, which sees them sponsoring parcels on the town’s Christmas tree. That will be sited as usual on the north side of The Square, close to the junction with Garden Street.

The entertainment begins at noon, with town crier Colin Ballard starting proceedings and school choirs from St Thomas and Mayfield among those involved.

Clifton Academy, Hot Foot Dance Company and The Dance Place, who will all be supplying young cast members for the Lowther panto, will also be performing, as will members of the Ormerod Trust’s drama group, who are staging a production on the Trust’s history at Lowther next month. Karen Hunter Dance Academy and the band Veasey will also appear.

Orchard Road, at its junction with The Square, will be closed on Saturday for safety reasons during the entertainment leading up to the switch-on as well as to allow for the building and dismantling of the stage. There will also be no access to either of the car parks fronting the south side of The Square and a Fylde Council spokesman apologised in advance for any inconvenience caused.