Six hundred guests from a spectrum of faiths, backgrounds and communities to mark Diwali in Blackburn.
The Festival of Lights was held at the Grand Venue and marked by fireworks, fun, food and dancing into the night.
Councillor Phil Riley made opening remarks, with the town's mayor and mayoress, Blacburn College's Fazal Dad, Nigel Evans MP, entrepreneurs and community figures Edwin Booth and Khalid Saifullah, and Vice Lieutenant for Lancashire Christine Kirk in attendance lighting a candle of hope and prosperity for our region.
The event has already raised over £3,000 for its supported charities - the Mayors Charity, Community Foundation for Lancashire and Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone - with an online auction still to follow.
Ram Gupta, of Blackburn-based IT firm Nybble who organised the event, said: "We all look the same when we laugh. Here’s to a society that realises its humanity before anything else.
"Diwali 2023 is done, but we must keep the spirit alive in our hearts until 2024 when the candle is lit again, as it’s a spirit that keeps on giving."
The event was backed by the Lancashire business community, with supporters including: Leisure Guard Security, Blackburn College, Pierce Business Advisory & Accountancy Group, Nybble.co.uk, Tyreoo, Community Foundation for Lancashire, Apleona UK, Napthens LLP, Brabners, Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone, Ainsworth Jewellers, Guide Security, Star Tissue, Lancashire Business View, PDCA Creative Media, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, State Bank of India, The Saffron Group, Blackburn Hindu Centre, Fireworks NW, Abhi Nandana Dance School, Meera Dance Academy.
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