Town lit up for festive season
ASPRINKLING of festive magic came to the town this weekend as thousands joined the countdown to Christmas at the festive lights switch-on, gift market and a dazzling fireworks display at the town hall.
More than 2,500 people attended the event which featured a festive market in the Great Hall, family entertainment, food and drink.
Rochdale town hall was the biggest light of them all - lit in spectacular colours especially for the occasion.
Among the fun activities were craft sessions and face painting for children and guest appearances by popular children’s TV characters Ben and Holly.
‘The Melody Hub’ presented music and percussion workshops as well as hosting taster sessions for budding young musicians.
Seasonal food and drink was served along with performances by Rochdale Wardle Community Brass Band who entertained a packed Great Hall with Christmas favourites. A Christmas Café on the ground floor as well as outdoor stalls served hot food and mulled wine for those waiting for the switch-on. This was accompanied by music and performances by Skylight Circus Arts and Stilt Batteristas – tall drummers lit up with sparkling lights and playing festive songs along with two cheeky elves searching the crowd for Santa.
As the town hall clock struck five, former Hollyoaks star Nathan Morris appeared on the balcony to introduce his guests from this year’s Gracie Fields Theatre pantomime ‘Sleeping Beauty’ – actress Stacey Coleman, Jenny Ryan from ‘The Chase’ as well as comedian Ben ‘Wally’ Sherlock.
They were followed by the Mayor, Coun Mohammad Zaman, Mayoress Naaira Zaman, Ben Elf and Princess Holly and of course, Father Christmas to help switch on the lights for 2018.
The Mayor said: “What a fantastic family event for the local community – the crowds were excellent, and the town hall was very busy all afternoon.
“We also had people attending from other areas across Greater Manchester so events like this are a great showcase for our town hall and wonderful town centre.
“I hope to see everyone back in town over the next few weeks supporting our local businesses.”
As the lights were switched on, the night came alive with fireworks and music.
And in Whitworth, an estimated 700 people came out into the town to watch the lights being switched on on Sunday.
Mayor Madeline De Souza was joined for the big moment by Amelia Mayoh and Hannah Earnshaw – winners of a colouring competition held by the Town Council.
This Saturday the lights are switched on in Littleborough town centre.
The event runs from 12pm to 6pm.
●●The Christmas lights switch-on in Whitworth
●●Rochdale Christmas lights switch-on, above, below, and above right