Hun­dreds see Val­ley lit up

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page - JON MACPHER­SON STU­ART PIKE freep­ress­[email protected]­ @RossFreePress

THE Christ­mas spirit was alive and well as the fes­tive sea­son got un­der­way in Hasling­den, Bacup and Weir.

Fam­i­lies and chil­dren gath­ered on Dear­den­gate out­side the li­brary as Hasling­den YouTube star An­tonella Brollini and Rossendale Mayor Coun Ann Kenyon switched on the lights.

Hasling­den High School Brass Band en­ter­tained crowds with a va­ri­ety of Christ­mas songs and car­ols.

Fa­ther Christ­mas vis­ited to speak to the chil­dren and hand out sweets, and vis­i­tors could also browse and shop at a fes­tive mar­ket.

An­tonella said she was ‘beyond de­lighted and so proud’ to help switch on the lights for a sec­ond year run­ning.

The Bacup Christ­mas Fes­ti­val, or­gan­ised by the Bacup Now Com­mu­nity Group, has also been hailed a great suc­cess, de­spite rainy weather.

The Ar­ti­san Mar­ket was ‘buzzing’ with hun­dreds of peo­ple, and all traders re­ported that they had a bril­liant day in tak­ings, but also as part of a great at­mos­phere.

Santa’s Grotto had al­most 200 chil­dren queu­ing up to see Santa.

The sur­prise light switch on flooded the build­ings of Ir­well Ter­race with vi­brant colour.

Or­gan­iser Barry Hyde, who runs the Bacup Now Word Press blog, said there were many peo­ple to thank for their sup­port of the fes­ti­val, in­clud­ing Rossendale coun­cil, lo­cal busi­nesses, the Ar­ti­san mar­ket traders, MC Pete Sweet­more, of Rossendale Ra­dio, and the ‘fan­tas­tic’ mar­shals.

He told the Free Press: “De­spite the weather, the fes­ti­val was bril­liant.”

Eleven-year-olds Paul Greg­son and Al­ice Orm­rod, along with Rowan Bradley, six, were se­lected to switch on the Christ­mas lights in the play­ground at Weir after their draw­ings were picked as the best.

They re­ceived framed copies of their pic­tures and a free pizza at Anna’s Café Bar.

Weir Pride raised £1,475 to brighten up the vil­lage at Christ­mas from grants and do­na­tions from busi­nesses and Rossendale coun­cil pro­vided match fund­ing.

Cheer­lead­ers from Fu­sion Dance and Fit­ness per­formed a rou­tine and mince pies were served.

Every­one is wel­come to at­tend the park at 6.30pm on Mon­day, De­cem­ber 24 when Weir Bap­tist Church will be host­ing its an­nual open-air ser­vice of car­ols.

●● An­tonella Brollini and Rossendale Mayor Ann Kenyon turned on the lights

●● Rossendale Mayor Ann Kenyon with Fa­ther Christ­mas

●● Hasling­den High School Brass Band per­formed at Hasling­den Li­brary

●● Hasling­den High School Brass Band per­formed at Hasling­den Li­brary

●● An­tonella with the Royal Bacup The­atre group

●● Lo­cals en­joy the switch-on

●● Lo­cals at Hasling­den switch-on

●● Lo­cals at the event

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