Local entertainers will launch an extended festive season aimed at boosting business for traders in St Annes later this month.
The town centre and adjoining streets will be alight with festive colours and decorations ready for the Christmas Lights Switch-On event on Saturday, November 20.
The ceremony is back after two years, having gone virtual last year because of the pandemic and is being held on a week earlier than previous occasions, which organisers hope will extend the festive season and benefit traders.
It’s the same date as Lytham’s switch-on, headlined by Britain’s Got Talent finalist Steve Royle, and is thought to be the first time the ceremonies in the neighbouring town s have coincided.
St Annes town crier John Spencer-Barnes at the switch-on ceremony in 2019
The festivities are organised and run by the Community and Neighbourhood Group (CAN) of St Annes on the Sea Town Council.
The fun will begin around noon with Christmas music hosted by Emma Louise Jackson.
Local performers – Paul Dobie, Peter Anthony, and Steve Canavan – will take to the stage from 2pm until 5.30pm.
Entertainer Paul Dobie will be among the locally-based performers
Santa will visit the shopping areas around St Annes at Alexandria Drive at 11.30am, Whalley Place at 12.30pm, Headroomgate Road at 1.30pm and St Alban’s Road at 2.30pm.
He will then return to the town centre for the switch-on, which will see St. Annes on the Sea Town Council chairman Gavin Harrison and deputy mayor of Fylde Coun Cheryl Little flicking the switch at 5.30pm.
Coun Harrison said: “I’m delighted to be part of this traditional community switch-on event, it’ll be great to see the lights shining more brightly than ever this year.
“There’s something for everyone, with talented local performers compered by the fabulous Emma Louise – my thanks to them all for contributing to what I know will be a great family day out in our wonderful town.
“Santa will be visiting the local shopping areas before putting in an appearance at the big switch on, so if you see him, do give him a wave.
“I’d also like to thank the CAN Team of councillors and officers have worked really hard to bring this event to the people of St Annes and I look forward to seeing you all on the big day.”
Town Crier John Spencer-Barnes and councillors will also be in attendance.
The lights and infrastructure have been upgraded with the ability to turn all the lights on in unison.
Following the switch-on, Churches Together will hold a Crib Blessing at the amphitheatre in the town centre.
The event – organised by St. Thomas’ Church – will include a short procession, music and unveiling of the nativity crib.
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