The big switch - to Saturday

X Factor's Jonjo Kerr at Chorley Christmas Lights switch on
X Factor's Jonjo Kerr at Chorley Christmas Lights switch on
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Christmas will officially land in Chorley on November 24 with the annual lights switch-on.

In a move from previous years, the start of the festive celebrations will now be held on Saturday to help boost trade in the town.

The switch-on is promised to feature some big names who are set to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Last year X-Factor star JonJo performed.

The stage performances will start at 4pm and will include musical tribute acts and local performers to get the crowd warmed up for the switch on at 5.30pm.

This year the display will also feature fireworks.

Malcolm Allen, chairman of Chorley Traders’ Alliance, said: “We have been in discussion with the council regarding the lights switch-on this year and felt that in previous years, when we held it in the week, shops were not opening late because they didn’t trade too well.

“Since Christmas is a fun time for families we thought a change back to the Saturday switch-on that we’ve had in previous years would be a good way to get everyone involved.”

Coun Peter Wilson, Deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “This year’s event is going to be the best yet.

“We’ve got lots of surprises in store and are working with traders to give local people and visitors a fantastic Christmas

experience.

“The event has been moved to a Saturday to give people time to do their Christmas shopping before the entertainment.

“We expect it to be another busy day so I would encourage people to get into the town centre early.

“The lights switch-on will be the start of an exciting programme of activities in the town centre every Saturday in the run up to Christmas.

“It is important that we do all we can to help traders and boost the local economy and local people can be part of that.

“We’ve also got a few other Christmas surprises planned for families and shoppers and will be revealing more in a few weeks’ time.”

The main switch-on stage will be in the same location as last year at the top of Market Street.

There will also be an opportunity for people to get autographs with the as yet un-named celebrities following the switch on.

News of the switch-on comes weeks after it was announced Chorley’s annual Christmas parade would be scrapped.

The parade usually takes place as a prelude to the switch-on, with hundreds of people including school children taking part with home-made banners and lanterns.

But organisers this year said they made the decision to drop the parade as not enough people wanted to take part.