The 2019 Blackburn Christmas lights switch on will herald the start of a packed programme of festive events throughout the town centre.
Blackburn Comes Alive! The official lights switch on event will take place on Saturday 23 November from 12pm, and promises to be an amazing, magical day.
A ‘Greatest Showman’ inspired parade will lead visitors from Cathedral Square, through The Mall shopping centre, and along King William Street at 2pm and 5pm, and will include stilt walkers and acrobatic elves.
The final parade will culminate in a fantastic all-singing, all-dancing finale show from 5.40pm when Father Christmas will carry out the official switch on from the stage outside the Town Hall, assisted by the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Councillor Jim Shorrock. The event will be concluded with a spectacular fireworks display.
The magical programme of free high-quality events on the day of the switch on will also including lantern making workshops ahead of the Festival of Light Lantern Parade on 14 December, a Frost Fair inside Blackburn Cathedral Crypt, aerial artist performances inside the Cathedral, an Ice Dragon walkabout from King George’s Hall, Santa’s Fantastical Post Office grotto experience in The Mall, a magical Illusionist and your chance to meet Peppa Pig at Blackburn Market, Christmas-themed craft sessions at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery and festive storytelling at Blackburn Central Library.
The stage on King William Street will feature local talented performers entertaining the crowds, including star of King George’s Hall’s Cinderella Pantomime Kevin Simm, and Blackburn born award-winning children’s author Christina Gabbitas who will be reading from her latest book and performing on stage with local schoolchildren.
Catherine Price, Blackburn BID Manager said: “This year we have created a packed programme of professional, magical, and festive activities to showcase the town centre and what it has to offer. We have events and activities for the whole family to ensure visitors keep coming back to Blackburn time and time again. We want people to Believe in Blackburn town centre and make it their destination of choice for all things Christmas 2019!”
In addition to the stunning lights switch on, a huge schedule of events has been created running right up to Christmas Day – including new events for 2019 such as the Frost Fair inside Blackburn Cathedral and Twilight Markets on Thursdays in Blackburn Market. The programme is a partnership between Blackburn BID and Blackburn with Darwen Council, supported by The Mall and town centre partners.
Firm family favourites such as Cinderella in Panto at King George’s Hall, Sleeping Beauty on Ice at Planet Ice Arena, and Christmas services at the Cathedral have been included in a guide, which is available to shoppers from The Mall and around Blackburn town centre or by visiting BlackburnChristmas.com.
Councillor Phil Riley, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “It’s going to be a really impressive Christmas with a jam-packed programme of events that will be unique to Blackburn and very much family-focussed. There will be a superb start with a full day of events leading up to the Christmas lights switch-on with parades through the Town Centre.
“For the first time this year we will be hosting ‘Twilight Markets’ on Thursdays. The markets will be opening late from 4-8pm, with pop-up artisan and craft stalls, a pop-up bar, DJ and live performers. The market will also be open every Sunday from December to give people the full Christmas shopping experience.
“There will be Christmas music and magic on the digital screen on Saturdays in December to bring some extra Christmas cheer into Town Hall square.
“This year we were keen to make sure this will be one to remember and we hope people will come from far and wide to help support local businesses, encouraging people to come into town and shop locally.”
For more information, visit blackburnchristmas.com