Padiham residents of all ages wrapped up against the cold and got into the festive spirit for the town’s annual Christmas lights switch-on.
Visitors got the chance to pick up a bargain and seasonal gifts at a Christmas market inside the town hall where stalls were selling everything from mulled wine and mince pies to festive plants, arts, crafts, cakes and toys. The Padiham Archive Group also had a stall displaying photos and memorabilia from the town’s past.
Outside the town hall families flocked to fairground rides and tucked into hot dogs, roasted chestnuts and candyfloss while Father Christmas made an appearance on his sleigh with members of Padiham Rotary Club, collecting money for charity.
The switch-on ceremony, hosted by Mayor of Padiham Coun. Vince Pridden, took place at the front of the town hall and police closed off a section of Burnley Road so people could gather to watch.
The entertainment was kicked off by children from Padiham Green Primary School who sang carols.
They were followed by teenage singing sensation Grace O’Malley who wowed the audience with renditions of Westlife’s “You Raise Me Up” and festive favourites “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas,” by Michael Buble and Christmas classic “Oh Holy Night.”
The Rev. Mark Jones, vicar at St Leonard’s Church, then said a prayer to dedicate the town’s crib.
The lights were switched on by Mrs Christine Bond, who has assisted the town council with the Mayor’s fund for the last 10 years, before the event was brought to a glittering finale with a colourful firework display.
Coun. Pridden, who organised the event along with members of Padiham Town Council, said the switch-on was one of the most successful the town has ever had.
“It was a great success. It was one of the best we’ve had for crowds and the entertainment as well.
“I think the children from Padiham Green did awfully well. I think they were a bit nervous beforehand but once they got out there they loved it and Grace O’Malley’s high quality singing got the crowd going.
“Mrs Bond has helped the town council for the last 10 years and I thought it was a fitting thank you for her to switch the lights on for all she’s done.”
Coun. Pridden also praised the crowds of families who turned out for the event.
“Without them we couldn’t have the lights switch on. Next year we’ll have to think of something bigger and better, we’re always trying to improve.”
The switch on started a weekend of festive activities in Padiham. The town hall also hosted an arts and craft market the following day.