Over 8,000 people attended a stunning start to Christmas in Accrington at the 2022 #AmazingAccrington Christmas Light Switch On.

The event, which took place in Accrington Town Centre, saw a fantastic evening of family fun entertainment including Accrington Town Centre’s first Christmas Market of 2022, inside and outside Accrington Market, featuring over 70 stalls and headlined by the local Finch Bakery, a funfair, fireworks display and a full line up of acts on the main stage headlined by The Take That Experience.

Visitors to the Light Switch On also enjoyed performances on the main stage from local singer Gavin Young, the Neil Diamond Experience, live panto from Jack & The Beanstalk, fire eaters dance act Desi Nach, the world-renowned Accrington Pipe Band and players from Accrington Stanley and Accrington Stanley Women.

A collective school choir of over 300 children featuring 12 local schools also wowed the crowds with a heart-warming performance of songs, with each child also receiving a selection box courtesy of The Cardboard Box Company.

The winners of the ‘Design a card fit for a King’ competition sponsored by Property Shop in conjunction with Sara Britcliffe MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden were also announced on the main stage, with Oliver Chadwick, Sofia Nikandrou and Samuel Bell named as the winners. The winning card will be sent to the King on behalf of Accrington, while all three winning cards will be used by Sara Britcliffe MP as her official 2022 Christmas Card, which will also see one received by the Prime Minister.

The entertainment which got underway at 4 pm and was compared by BBC Radio Lancashire’s Stephen Lowe, also saw 500 free footballs given away and fantastic #ShopLocal offers from the Hyndburn independents.

Marlene Howarth, Deputy Leader of Hyndburn Council, said: “What an incredible event the 2022 #AmazingAccrington Christmas Light Switch On has been!

“I can’t believe how full the market is tonight – the town has been so busy which just shows what we can do here in Accrington. I just loved seeing the Market Hall full of happy people and to see all the children’s decorations hanging from the Christmas tree is just tremendous.”

Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden, commented: “It has been wonderful to see over 70 stalls thriving inside and outside the market, as well as our fantastic Hyndburn independents supporting tonight.

“Everyone has had so much fun and a big thank you to everyone who has donated to the event’s official charity, Maundy Relief.”

Gareth Lindsay, Managing Director of North Lancs Training Group, said: “Wow what an amazing night of family fun entertainment it has been – our team have loved it! It was also a great opportunity to talk to future learners with NLTG. Thank you #AmazingAccrington!”

Heath Groves, CEO of Sundown Solutions, commented: “We are proud to have sponsored another great event in Accrington! Last year’s Light Switch On was brilliant but tonight has been even better and we spoke to lots of people interested in a career with Sundown. What a night and what an amazing year for Accrington. Well done everyone!

Morag Davis, Centre Principal of Nelson & Colne College Group, said: “We love being part of local events like this. Our virtual reality cube went down a treat showcasing our fantastic facilities at Accrington & Rossendale College. The atmosphere has been electric and we’ve had a terrific night!”

The event was sponsored by North Lancs Training Group, Sundown Solutions, Accrington & Rossendale College, Hyndburn Borough Council, Financial Affairs and The Cardboard Box Company.

Keep an eye on the Amazing Accrington website https://www.amazingaccrington.co.uk/ and social media channels for further coverage from the event.