Stars come out as resort gets lit up for Christmas

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Hundreds of people flocked to St John’s Square and braved the cold weather to see a star-studded show to celebrate Blackpool’s Christmas Light Switch On.

Families filed into the square to see a host of upcoming artists and Britain’s Got Talent stars light up the town centre.

Blackpool Christmas lights switch on ceremony in St John's Square.'Gavin Ellis on stage.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'22-11-2014

Blackpool Christmas lights switch on ceremony in St John's Square.'Gavin Ellis on stage. PIC BY ROB LOCK'22-11-2014

Among the acts playing were singer-songwriter Gavin Ellis, Blackpool’s own Myth of Unity, and Britain’s Got Talent finalists Bailey McConnell, James Smith and Lucy Kay.

Shrieks of excitement echoed around the square when Bailey and James stepped on stage to show they were not short of admirers.

Jessica Martin, 16, from South Shore said: “I am here mainly to see Bailey. He is just so lovely and as soon as I knew he was coming, I made sure my Saturday was free!”

Thomas Rees, 47, who was visiting Blackpool with his family from North Wales, said: “We are just here for the weekend and was just passing by.

“It’s such a good little festival of fun which the town is holding, me and my family are just happy to take it all in.”

The audience built up throughout the day and any passers-by shopping in the town were stopped in their tracks once Lucy Kay began to sing.

Stacey Marsh, 24, from Cleveleys, said: “I love so many acts that are performing here today so I had to come.

“They have all been great but Lucy Kay’s voice is incredible, she sounds even better live.”

The event, organised by Blackpool Bid and Rock FM, was completely free and saw residents and visitiors enjoy the entertainment in the centre of the town.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and leisure at Blackpool Council said he hopes the Saturday night event’s success can lead to the square hosting similar events in the future.

He said: “The atmosphere in the crowd was great, it was so nice to see everyone joining in and getting involved.

“Overall the event was really uplifting, there was something for everybody on Saturday.

“We hope that businesses in the town get behind these events in the future so that they can take advantage of the footfall that they create.”

The event was drawn to a close by switching on the Christmas lights and the unveiling of a brand new Christmas tree.

There was even time for Santa to get on stage and sprinkle a little Christmas joy.