Huge crowds enjoyed the 2017 Ormskirk Christmas Lights Switch on extravaganza and the event proved even more popular than previous years, with almost double the footfall in the town centre from last year, despite the wet weather.
West Lancashire Borough Council staff put a lot of effort into organising the lights switch on and received many positive comments about the event from the hundreds of people who came to the event.
There were many fabulous attractions for people to enjoy, starting from midday with the Chapel Gallery's bustling Christmas Market with loads of stalls for people to browse through and pick up unique Christmas gifts. There were also free activities, and in the evening there was live music and complimentary mulled wine, so people could eat drink and be merry.
From 4pm there was a fabulous range of market stalls located on Moor Street, including food, crafts, local retailers and traders from the Thursday and Saturday markets held in Ormskirk throughout the year. These helped people enjoy some Christmas cheer and do some Christmas shopping.
A giant sized snow globe was on Moor Street, funded by the Town Centre Management Group, from around 4pm, creating a wonderful winter-wonderland free photo opportunity as a family keepsake.
The local Rotary Club accompanied Father Christmas, who was very busy on the night listening to Christmas lists from the many excited youngsters who'd come out to see him.
From 4.30pm to 6pm there was a variety of entertainment on and around the stage at the Clock Tower include family entertainer Circus Frank, and performances by popular local dance and drama school Base Dance, the amazing ‘Ormskirk Rock Choir’ who entertained the crowds with popular favourites such as Halo by Beyonce and Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin Stevens. Favourite children’s characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Captain America Minion were also in the town meeting and greeting everyone, together with Silcocks amusements which provided children’s rides throughout the event.
The marvellous compere Andy Jay kept the party atmosphere going. This led up to the Carol Service at 6pm, when dignitaries and fellow guests assembled at Ormskirk Parish Church before processing to the sounds of the Piper to the main stage for the service conducted by the local clergy assisted by Friends In Unison Choir and Skelmersdale Prize Brass Band.
The Mayor of West Lancashire Councillor Neil Furey gave his Christmas address and then took up position with guests at the 'magic switch' in readiness for the countdown to the 'Switch-On' conducted by Don Evans, West Lancashire’s Town Crier. Then after lights came on the acclaimed Neil Diamond tribute act Nearly Diamond kept everyone entertained, capturing the passion and class of the man himself.
Councillor Yvonne Gagen, West Lancashire Borough Council portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “I would like to thank all the Council staff and the groups, organisations and traders for their hard work in making the Christmas lights switch on extravaganza a fantastic night for Ormskirk. The town was extremely busy and many people told the council how much they enjoyed the event."
Andrea Smith, store manager of Marks & Spencer Ormskirk, who had a stall at the event selling Christmas products, said: "Marks & Spencer were really proud to be part of such a fantastic, family friendly event taking place in the heart of Ormskirk. Our stall at the event was really popular and the whole event seemed to really draw in the crowds.
Martin Walsh, Chairman of Ormskirk Community Partnership, posted on the Discover Ormskirk Facebook page: "Events like this are just what Ormskirk needs. Well done everyone!"