Huge par­ties as our towns are lit up for Xmas

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JON MACPHER­SON

THOU­SANDS of peo­ple braved the wind and rain to en­joy the Ac­cring­ton town cen­tre Christ­mas fes­tiv­i­ties and lights switch-on.

Choir mu­sic filled the air as pupils from St Mary Mag­dalen’s, Bax­en­den St John’s, Peel Park, Ac­cring­ton Academy and Rhy­d­dings High school en­ter­tained the crowd.

They were also joined on stage by solo artist Clau­dia Thomp­son, the East Lan­cashire Con­cert Band, the Skoot Choir, The Jer­seys and the cast from up­com­ing Oswaldtwistle panto Beauty and the Beast.

Hyn­d­burn Mayor Mo­ham­mad Ayub and Ac­cring­ton Car­ni­val Queen He­len Trick­ett switched on the lights on Novem­ber 29, and the evening was hosted by Colin Man­ford.

Gayle Knight, who or­gan­ised the lights switch-on and town square events, said: “It was a great night and we’ve had an over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive re­sponse.

“With all the school choirs it had a re­ally lovely feel and it was com­mu­ni­ty­based with all the acts. Ev­ery­thing ran on time more or less and we couldn’t be hap­pier.

“I would like to pay a mas­sive thank you to ev­ery­body who was in­volved from the schools to the vol- un­teers, stew­ards and the coun­cil. It was a bold move for the coun­cil and I think it re­ally paid off.”

Vis­i­tors also en­joyed the mag­i­cal Frozen snow­globe, fair­ground rides, a visit from the Grinch and a va­ri­ety of sea­sonal stalls.

Hyn­d­burn coun­cil leader Miles Parkin­son said it was a ‘fan­tas­tic evening’.

He added: “It was a very pleas­ing fam­ily event with every­one com­ing to­gether. “It shows how sturdy Ac­cring­ton folk are.

“Even on an evening of rain and gales they came down in great num­bers to wish every­one a Merry Christ­mas and a pros­per­ous New year.

“The Town Hall and Mar­ket Hall were lit up fab­u­lously and it was tied off with a fan­tas­tic fire­works dis­play as usual.” » Pic­tures by Tim Bradley Pho­tog­ra­phy

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