Thousands of revellers will celebrate the official start of Christmas by flocking to Accrington’s lights switch-on and firework display.
And this year’s event promises to be bigger than ever with live music from Britain’s Got Talent and X Factor stars, fireworks, and a Christmas craft market.
The lights were due to be switched on at 7.30pm on Thursday, November 24 by three-year-old Charlie Procter, from Church, who has spent most of this year in hospital battling stage four liver cancer.
Charlie’s mum Amber Schofield said: “At the age of two Charlie was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma stage four cancer. Switching the lights on is a brilliant way to end 2016, which has been an awful and tough year for him.
“Still undergoing treatment, Charlie has a huge fight to win, and switching on the lights will bring him so much happiness.
“He’s excited and looking forward to pressing that button. I hope lots of people can join us this Thursday.”
Shahed Mahmood, president of Hyndburn Chamber of Trade, said they cannot wait for it to start.
He said: “It’s the one night of the year we all look forward to and it starts the festivities for the Christmas period.
“It is beginning even earlier this year, from 4pm, so families can come straight after school.
“It’s getting bigger every year and we are listening to residents, customers, visitors and business to see how we can improve it.”
Local songstress Ella Shaw and crooner Wayne Woodward, who made the finals of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, and X Factor auditionee Jamie Hutchinson will entertain the crowds from 6pm.
A firework display will follow the lights switch-on at 7.40pm and mince pies with mulled wine and hot chocolate will also be on offer until 8pm from sponsors Duckworths estate agents on St James’ Street, along with ducks with free balloons.
There will be the chance to win a Christmas hamper too by calling into the shop on the night.
Shops within the Arndale Centre will stay open during the evening from 4.30pm and The Ballroom at Accrington Town Hall will play host to a free Christmas craft market.
Father Christmas will also make an appearance at his Grotto in the Town Hall, with 50 slots available.
Tickets cost £8 per child and must be booked in advance on 01254 380293.
Discounts are available for groups of children.
There will also be a festive fun fair on Broadway.