Crowds flock to see Christmas lights switched on

Christmas may still be several weeks off, but with the weather, jovial atmosphere, and the big switch on in three towns yesterday, it feels like it’s here already.

The festivities are well and truly underway after the crowds braved the sporadic downpours of sleet and rain to see the lights flicked on in Blackpool, Fleetwood, and Lytham.

The Bay City Rollers perform the switch-on in Lytham yesterday (Pic: Rob Lock)

The Bay City Rollers perform the switch-on in Lytham yesterday (Pic: Rob Lock)

In St John’s Square in Blackpool town centre, an all-day festive fun day was held, where stilt-walkers, fire-eaters and even bucking reindeer appeared alongside local entertainers and tribute acts, before the Christmas tree was lit up in the late afternoon.

One visitor, Pauline Duncan, described the event as ‘great fun’, and said the food and drink offering was varied, while she also praised the free attractions.

She added: “What an amazing fun day was had by all.

“Big pat on the back to [organisers] Blackpool BID for making us proud of our town and all it has to offer.”

The lantern parade for the Fleetwood Christmas Light switch on

The lantern parade for the Fleetwood Christmas Light switch on

A few miles away on the Piazza in Clifton Street, Lytham, Scottish pop group Bay City Rollers led an afternoon of entertainment before the lights were turned on at 5.30pm.

And in Fleetwood, an afternoon of fun was held at the Ferry from 11am, including entertainment, game show quizzes, a lip synch battle, and live music.

The Fleetwood Old Boys Band also played, while youngsters clutching lanterns joined in a parade alongside the Illuminated Trawler Tram and Santa’s sleigh.

Flakefleet Primary School’s choir and samba band played at the parade’s conclusion before six-year-old Jack Wrigley completed the switch-on, at Ash Street, after winning the opportunity in a raffle.

Jacob Picton, five, Alexis Hart, five and Layla Hughes, six with Nixi and Rob from Gravity Live at the St John's Square Christmas Festive Fun Day

Jacob Picton, five, Alexis Hart, five and Layla Hughes, six with Nixi and Rob from Gravity Live at the St John's Square Christmas Festive Fun Day

Coun Emma Anderton said: “It was not helped by the weather – we had rain, sleet, and hail – but it was really good day out.”