Illuminate Blackburn

This Christmas the magic continues in Blackburn town centre…

Following on from last year’s multi-award nominated campaign this year the Christmas events in Blackburn promise to be even more magical.

Illuminate Blackburn – this year’s Christmas programme – is brought to you by Blackburn BID and Experience Blackburn and will celebrate the resilience shown by the town and its community spirit.

Catherine Price, Blackburn town centre BID manager, said: “Following on from last year’s multi-award nominated campaign, this year the Christmas events in Blackburn promise to be even more magical.  We have taken the opportunity to spread out the festive programme to bring as much joy as possible to visitors this Christmas.

“We truly hope Blackburn town centre will become a destination for families to visit this festive season and have a magical and memorable time.”

The festivities will officially begin on November 27 with a series of spectacular shows in the town centre, building up to a Christmas lights switch on and spectacular fireworks display in the evening.

Christmas Lights Switch On

Sat 27 Nov, from 2.30pm

Choirmaster and Broadcaster Gareth Malone will be appearing as a very special guest at Blackburn’s Christmas Lights Switch On event, taking place on Saturday 27 November!

Gareth has been filming in the town for a documentary due to be aired on BBC Two in the run up to Christmas.  As part of the show he will be hosting a special Christmas singalong and helping to host the whole event which starts at 2pm on Saturday.

Gareth will then lead the countdown to the Christmas Lights Switch On at 6pm, with the help of The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Cllr Derek Hardman.

During the day, three all singing, all dancing, Disney-style parade shows which will take place on King William Street at 2.30, 4pm and 5.30pm.

A beautifully costumed and illuminated cast of singers, dancers, acrobats, and walkabout characters will form the cast of the interactive shows. 

Beginning with 5-10 minutes of interaction/meet and greets with audiences, the characters will then come to life with high energy choreography, incredible vocals and Christmas spirit as the show begins in a flash mob style! 

The theatrical, feel good shows will be 25 minute extravaganza performed just above ground level on three occasions throughout the day.

The finale performance at 5.30pm will end with the Christmas Lights being switched on and an incredible firework display. 

The show itself will feature festive hits for all the family to sing-along to, as well as songs themed on light such as “Light Up” – Leona Lewis, “Blinding Lights” – The Weeknd and “At Last I See The Light” – Tangled.

Light the Night: The Snowman and the Snowdog Trail

Sat 27 Nov until Wed 5 Jan

16 illuminated brick model sculptures based on the characters of The Snowman and the Snowdog, located around the town centre for 5 weeks. 

The trail features 4 ‘hero’ models including a 1.8m tall snowman and 12 smaller models. 

We will be sending out a separate email to appeal for BID members who would like to host a brick model for the festive season.  As with Brickosaurs, there will be a Trail map and a QR code trail with prizes to be won. Please see the terms and conditions below.

Christmas Lights Switch On Event: Everything you need to know

What time will the Christmas Lights be switched on?

The Christmas lights will be switched on at 6pm on Saturday.  Stage entertainment will start from 2pm and will include amazing shows from Pop Up Entertainment, King George’s Hall’s panto cast, Katrina’s Dance Academy, DJs from Blackburn Youth Zone and our extra special guest will be Choirmaster Gareth Malone, leading a Christmas singalong!

Will there be fireworks?

Yes.  As the Christmas lights are switched on, there will be an amazing fireworks and pyrotechnics display choreographed to music.  The road at Exchange St and the area around The Making Rooms and in front of Blackburn Town Hall will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians for safety during this time.

I want to come to the event but I’m nervous about the large crowds, is there anything I can do?

Pop Up Entertainment’s exclusive show will be performed three times during the afternoon – at 2.35pm, 4pm and 5.35pm (finale show).  This is so that anyone worried about how busy the finale show will be can come to an earlier show to experience the magic without the same level of crowds.

Who is switching the Christmas Lights on?

Choirmaster Gareth Malone will lead the countdown to the switch on, supported by The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen.

Do I need to be there for the whole afternoon?

No.  The event has been designed so that you can drop in and out of it during the afternoon.  There will be lots to do in the town centre during the event, including the launch of the ‘Light the Night: The SnowmanTM and The Snowdog brick model trail’, a book signing by Christina Gabbitas author of ‘Believe in the Magic of Blackburn town centre’ book in The Mall (former Yours Clothing shop), and Festival of Light lantern making workshops in the creative spaces shop opposite the Town Hall.

Blackburn Festival of Light

Sat 18 Dec

The return of the amazing light parade through the town centre, this year celebrating 10 years of this annual event. 

Huge creative light art sculptures, community created lanterns, creative performers and musicians form a beautiful light parade in Blackburn town centre. 

Organised by Blackburn Festival of Light, to find out how you can support or sponsor the event visit

Please let us know the details of any events, initiatives or promotions you are planning for the Christmas period, and as always, please tag in @Blackburn_Bid and @ExperienceBBN in any social media posts so we can be sharing and helping to promote your business.

Last year the Christmas programme featured films projected on to the side of Blackburn Town Hall, and an animated version of the specially commissioned book ‘Believe in the Magic of Blackburn Town Centre’.

Terms & Conditions of Brick Model Trail Prize Draws

  1. The prize draw is organised by Blackburn BID c/o Newground CIC, Bob Watts building, 193 Bolton Rd, Blackburn BB2 3GE.
  2. Completed brick model trail forms should be handed into The Ask Me Point to be entered into the prize draw before the closing date.
  3. Completed QR code trail screenshots should be submitted to the Blackburn BID email before the closing date.
  4. The closing date for entries is 5th January 2022 and entries received after the stated closing date will not be accepted.
  5. Entry is free of charge.
  6. The prize draws are open to all except anyone directly associated with administration of the prize draws.
  7. Only one entry per person per trail competition is permitted.
  8. Blackburn BID reserves all rights to disqualify you if your conduct is contrary to the spirit or intention of the prize draws.
  9. A winner for each trail will be chosen by random draw within one month of the prize draw ending.
  10. The winner will be notified via their confirmed contact details within a reasonably practicable time of the draws taking place.
  11. The prizes are non-exchangeable, non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
  12. The decision of Blackburn BID c/o Newground CIC regarding any aspect of the prize draws is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
  13. Blackburn BID c/o Newground CIC is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy and will only use your personal information in accordance with these Terms and Conditions and with the winners consent.
  14. By entering, you agree that any personal information provided by you with your entry may be held and used by Blackburn BID c/o Newground CIC or its agents and suppliers to administer the competition.
  15. All our prize draws and competitions will be governed by English law and entrants to the prize draw submit to the jurisdiction of the English courts.

©2022 Blackburn BID

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