Christmas starts in Amazing Accrington with spectacular night of family entertainment

Over 12,000 headed to Accrington Town Centre to enjoy a fantastic, family-friendly start to Christmas on Thursday 25th November for the 2021 Christmas Light Switch On.

Organised by #AmazingAccrington, in conjunction with Hyndburn Borough Council and Accrington Market, the event was sponsored by local businesses North Lancs Training Group (NLTG), Sundown Solutions, Studio Retail Ltd and fireworks by The EG Group.

Visitors enjoyed four-and-a-half-hours of enthralling entertainment, headlined by Diva Mix, a superbly talented girl band who wowed the Accrington crowds with their tribute to Little Mix.

Hosted by BBC Radio Lancashire’s Stephen Lowe, the night got off to a flying start with live music from local singer-songwriter Claudia Thompson, before a wonderful collective of 11 Hyndburn school choirs led by Helen Davies, director of music at St Christopher’s.

The festive spirit was continued on the main stage by performing arts school, the Ella Shaw Academy, who performed classics such as Let It Snow and One Night One Moment, ahead of one of two fascinating displays by the LED Drummers, which saw crowds dancing along to classic pop songs recreated on their drums, producing a spectacle to behold in Accrington Town Centre.

Stars from this year’s Aladdin Panto at the Civic Arts Centre & Theatre, gave a sneak peek into this year’s show with a sensational 25-minute performance following an earlier meet and greet in Accrington Market.

With anticipation continuing to build for the Switch On, singer-songwriter Ella Shaw returned to the stage to perform a wonderful live set of her own, before Diva Mix took centre stage with an energetic display which had the Accrington crowd singing and dancing to classics including Black Magic and Shout Out to My Ex.

Players from the Accrington Stanley Mens and Accrington Stanley Womens teams were then joined on stage by Accrington-born celebrity and actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, who was introduced by host Stephen Lowe as The Queen of Accrington. Inflatable footballs were kicked out into the crowds ahead of the official countdown, Switch On and stunning firework display, sponsored by The EG Group.

The Light Switch On also saw Hyndburn’s independents open late for a great evening of late night shopping, food, drink and fun, including a free bucking reindeer in Accrington Market.

Accrington Town Hall also celebrated with their very own ‘Christmas at the Town Hall’ which included a festive indoor market, craft stalls, children’s activities, live entertainment and ‘a Father Christmas experience,’ hosted by Just Imagine UK.

Cllr Miles Parkinson OBE, leader of Hyndburn Borough Council, said: “Wow what an event! Last year we all missed out on a Christmas Light Switch On, but this has more than made up for it and it really has been a night to remember. It’s the first large scale event and it has been a resounding success to see Accrington Amazing again.

“It has also been brilliant to see our local independents open and thriving, and I’m sure they will tell you themselves, how great this event has been for the town.”

Murray Dawson, chair of #AmazingAccrington, commented: “It was great to see everyone back in town and enjoying themselves. We have thoroughly enjoyed organising the event and seeing all those happy faces is why we do it.”

Paul Kendrick, CEO of Studio Retail Ltd, said: “We were delighted to support the Christmas Light Switch On as part of Amazing Accrington and what a wonderful night it has been for the entire community, we are proud to be a key part of it.”

Gareth Lindsay, managing director of NLTG, commented: “We all need a bit of festive cheer after a difficult period and Amazing Accrington have really kick started the Christmas period in style.”

Heath Groves, CEO of Sundown Solutions, added: “Christmas is a really special time of the year and to be able to see our local community coming together, having fun and reconnecting with each other after so long, was incredible.”

Ilyas Munshi, group commercial director of EG Group, said: “We have loved being part of the Amazing Accrington event and sponsoring the fireworks display. It was a spectacular ending to a wonderful night and we hope everyone went home happy.”

Check out the Amazing Accrington website www.amazingaccrington.co.uk and their social media channels for more coverage from the event.