Lights switch-on is just the start

Coronation Street star Marc Baylis, who plays Rob Donovan
Coronation Street star Marc Baylis, who plays Rob Donovan
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Well-known faces will help to officially mark the start of Christmas as Chorley has its biggest festive celebrations yet.

Coronation Street actor Marc Bayliss, who plays Rob Donovan, will push the button to turn on the town centre’s Christmas lights on Saturday (November 15.)

Joining him on stage will be Chorley boxer Jack Catterall, who was recently crowned WBO European light-welterweight champion.

From 4pm, there will be a Christmas market on Fazakerley Street and a host of performers will take to the Market Street stage, including the winner of 2011’s Britain’s Got Talent, Jai McDowall, X Factor’s Janet Devlin and Harry Mondryk, and Bailey McConnell, also from Britain’s Got Talent.

Other performers will include former Take Me Out contestant and singer, Gavin Ellis, singer Chris Atkinson, girl groups Tiger Heart and Electrovamp, boy band Exposure and a special pantomime performance from Buckshaw Vamp.

The event will end at 6.30pm with snow and fireworks as the Christmas lights are turned on.

Coun Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “The Christmas lights switch-on is one of the biggest events of the year.

“We have crammed as much into the line-up as possible to make sure all of the family has a fantastic evening out.

“This year, we have got even more Christmas lights and some new displays, which will make the town look amazing.

“And we really hope you will join us on Saturday to see some brilliant entertainment and one of Coronation Street’s biggest stars.

“The event will mark the start of Chorley’s Christmas festivities, with different events and attractions taking place every weekend from now until Christmas.

“Plus, we will be unveiling our surprise Christmas attraction at the Christmas lights switch-on, which is certainly not to be missed.”

The celebrations will continue with a special event called Astley Illuminated, which will see Astley Hall and its treasures lit in LED spotlights, including a special festive projection onto the front façade of the historic house. It will be held from 4pm to 9pm on Saturday, November 22, and Sunday, November 23.

There will be Chorley’s Christmas Express land train and the chance to meet Father Christmas at Astley Hall from 10am until 4pm every Saturday from November 29 to December 20. Tickets must be booked in advance at

Bands, choirs, businesses and more entertainment will be in the centre every Saturday from November 22 until December 20. And Pendle Productions’ Dick Whittington pantomime will be held in the Lancastrian at Chorley Town Hall at 1.30pm on Saturday, November 29. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance at Chorley Council’s civic offices on Union Street.