Lancashire Christmas Lights Switch On 2018: Everything you need to know about timings, parking, and who will be performing across the county this year

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With just 40 days until Christmas, the festive feeling is growing across Lancashire. But what can we expect from the county's towns and cities this year?

Lancashire Christmas Lights Switch-On 2018: here’s everything you need to know

The festive season is nearly upon us and Lancashire is gearing up for a Christmas cracker of concerts and festive events across the county.

This is everything you need to know to make the most of Christmas in Lancashire.

Preston

When is the big switch on and what time will it start?

Preston’s big Christmas Lights switch-on will take place on Saturday November 24 and will run from 5.45pm to 8pm.

Where will the event take place?

As in previous years, the big switch on will take place on Preston's Flag Market.

Who is hosting the event?

The event is hosted by Preston Business Improvement District and Smooth Radio North West, and is sponsored by the The Shankly Hotel, Preston’s College and The Fishergate Shopping Centre.

Who will be performing?

• Children’s TV favourite Andy Day (CBeebies, BAFTA Nominated; programmes include ‘Andy’s Wild Adventures’ and ‘Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures’)

• Corrie’s David Platt, actor, Jack P Shepherd, (almost two-decades on Coronation Street, crowned ‘Best Soap Actor’ at British Soap Awards 2018) • The original lead singer of Rose Royce Gwen Dickey (Car Wash, Wishing On A Star, If It’s Love You’re After)

• B*Witched’s Edele Lynch (C’est la vie, Rollercoaster, Blame It On The Weatherman)

• ​The Opera Guy

​• Preston’s Charlotte Lily, who starred on the X Factor • Soul sensation Renee Mare and the cast of Cinderella at Preston’s Guild Hall.

Will there be free parking?

Preston City Council is offering free parking in the Market Hall Car Park from 3pm on Saturday November 24 for the Christmas Concert & Lights Switch On.

In addition to free parking for the Switch On, there is free parking throughout the festive period:

Market Hall Car Park – Preston City Council

Saturday 24 November (Christmas Concert & Switch On) – from 3.00pm; Thursday 29 November from 5.00pm; Sunday 2 December from 3.00pm; Thursday 6 December from 5.00pm; Sunday 9 December from 3.00pm; Thursday 13 December from 5.00pm; Sunday 16 December from 3.00pm; Thursday 20 December from 5.00pm; Sunday 23 December from 3.00pm; Monday 24 December from 1.00pm

Lancashire County Council - Arthur Street Car Park

Every Saturday and Sunday from November 24th; Saturday 22nd December; Wednesday 26th December – 8am – 10pm; Saturday 29th December; Tuesday 1st January 2019 – 8am – 10pm

University of Central Lancashire

Free parking from 6pm – 9pm Mon – Fri from 26th November to 21st December at Fylde 2 car park (PR1 2ED)

Free parking on Saturdays until 7pm and Sundays until 6pm at Whitendale car park (PR1 7BG)

Free parking at Victoria 2 car park (PR1 7AY) on Saturdays until 7pm and Sundays until 6pm and Christmas Eve 24th December to 2nd January until 7pm (excluding Xmas Day)

The shopping centres are also to offer complimentary parking across the period with details to be announced shortly.

What’s the ticket situation?

The event is free to everyone but it is recommended that you arrive as early as possible to secure a good view.

Leyland

Leyland has a calendar full of Christmas events lined up for families, including live music, a celebrity switch-on, food, drink, mince pies; everything short of a real-life reindeer.

When and where is the big switch on?

Leyland has TWO switch Christmas Lights Switch On's this year. Leyland Cross in the town centre has its own Christmas tree, which will be switched on at 5.20pm on Friday November 23. Visitors will then be invited back to St Andrew’s Church Hall for mince pies and live music.

Then on Saturday November 24, families can enjoy another Christmas day out with the Celebrity Switch On in Hough Lane at 6pm. Emmerdale actor Danny Miller (who plays Aaron Dingle) will flip the switch to light up Leyland.

Will there be free parking?

Visitors can park for free for a maximum of two hours at Tesco Leyland.

Bamber Bridge

When and where is the big switch on?

Bamber Bridge will spread the Christmas cheer on from 6pm on Thursday 29 November with their big Christmas Lights Switch On. Further details to be released soon.

Lostock Hall

When and where is the big switch on?

Lostock Hall kicks off its Christmas season when it switches on its lights at 1pm on Thursday 6 December in the town centre. The town will also host a Christmas Market at the Conservative Club in Brownedge Road from 1pm to 6pm.

Then at 6pm the Christmas Lights Switch On will take place at Hope Terrace, with carols to follow until 6.30pm.

Chorley

When is the big switch on and what time will it start?

Chorley's Christmas Lights Switch On takes place at between 3pm and 5pm on Saturday November 17.

Where will the event take place?

The show will start at 3pm on the Christmas stage on Market Street.

Who is hosting the event?

Comedian Zoe Lyons will host the event.

Who will be performing?

Local acts will take to the stage alongside performers from Inspire Chorley Youth Zone and Chorley Live.

Then at 4pm, professional costumed singers and dancers will perform a stunning medley of songs from the 'Greatest Showman' movie soundtrack. Following this, the audience will be invited to participate in a sing-along karaoke before The Rapide Brothers – a duo of comedy circus performers take over to get everyone filled with Christmas cheer and laughter.

The night will come to a spectacular finale with The Greatest Show act performing live on stage before they gather alongside comedian Zoe Lyons to switch on the town’s lights and transform Chorley into a twinkling winter wonderland.

Will there be free parking?

Parking is free in all town centre car parks after 1pm every Saturday but visitors are being asked to remember that the Flat Iron car park is a two hour maximum stay car park even in the free periods.

Lancaster

When and where is the big switch on?

Lancaster's big Christmas Lights Switch On will take place at 5pm in Market Square on Sunday November 25.

Who will be performing?

The X Factor winner Ben Haenow , who won the TV talent show in 2014, will headline the event with a performance on the Main Stage in Market Square. Joining Ben will be the BAFTA-nominated Children's TV presenter Andy Day, best known for his work on CBeebies with shows like Andy's Dinosaur Adventures and Andy's Prehistoric Adventures.

Other amazing artists making an appearance on the day include The Greatest Showman Show, Zoe Unsworth, Emilia formerly of Tiger Heart and Ricky Birchall from the Birchall Brothers. There will also be performances from Stagecoach Theatre School, Samba Espirito drumming band and The Dukes Theatre cast of Peter Pan.

Will there be free parking?

From Sunday November 25 until Sunday December 23, all of the city council's main pay and display car parks in Lancaster and Morecambe will be free to use for Sunday shopping.

From Thursday November 29 until Thursday December 20, you can also park for free at the council’s pay and display car parks in Lancaster from 5pm (until 8am the following morning) on Thursday evenings to enjoy late night shopping.

The offer of free festive parking is also on offer at the council’s multi storey car park at St. Nics Shopping Centre in Lancaster. This car park will close at 9pm on Thursday evenings.

Evening parking at most council run car parks in Morecambe is already free and the offer will extend to Billy Hill and Pedder Street car parks each evening from 5pm during the festive period.

Free parking excludes Lancashire County Council’s on street pay and display parking in Lancaster and the privately managed Marketgate Shopping Centre Car Park and Parksafe in Lancaster. Free parking also excludes the pay and display car parks at Williamson Park.

Blackpool

When is the big switch on and what time will it start?

Blackpool will kick off its Christmas season on Saturday December 1 at 2pm.

Where will the event take place?

The Christmas Lights Switch On will take place in St John’s Square and run until 5.30pm.

Who is hosting the event?

Blackpool BID will host the Christmas Lights Switch On again this year.

Who will be performing?

Emmerdale star Danny Miller will flick the famous switch to light up Blackpool with Christmas cheer. Other performers and entertainment is to be confirmed shortly.

What’s the ticket situation?

The Christmas event is free to one and all.

Will there be free parking?

Shoppers are set to benefit from a host of parking offers in Blackpool town centre this year to support town centre businesses and trade. From December 1, residents and visitors can take advantage of £1 parking on three town centre car parks.

The discounted parking offer is being funded by Blackpool Council and the Town Centre BID. The cheap parking will run until January 1.

You will be able to park for just £1 for any three-hour period on Central, East Topping Street and West Street car parks in the town centre.

In addition, Blackpool Transport will offer £1 tickets for trams and buses on three late night shopping Thursdays ( December 6, 13 and 20) after 5.30pm, as well as all day on the five Sundays in December.

Lytham

When is the big switch on and what time will it start?

Lytham's Christmas Lights Switch takes place on Saturday November 17, from 1.45pm until 6pm, with the official switch-on and full firework display taking place between 4.30pm and 5.30pm.

Where will the event take place?

Lytham Piazza, Clifton Square, Lytham.

Who is hosting the event?

The Big Switch On will be hosted by BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Graham Liver.

Who will be performing?

Britain’s Got Talent finalists Bring it North will pull the switch to light up Lytham ahead of headlining a glittering afternoon of live music and entertainment in the Piazza.

Along with Bring It North, Saturday’s entertainment bill will feature Anya & Elli Kiely; Fylde Coast Youth Theatre; Showchoir; Blackpool Brass Band; Emily Rhodes; The Deadbeats; Ellie Danson; Lucy Ella; Paul O’Brien; The Versions.

Will there be free parking?

There is no free parking but Lytham Railway Station offers visitors a convenient place to park, with only a short walk to the Piazza.

What’s the ticket situation?

The event is free to everyone.

St. Anne's

When and where is the big switch on?

St. Anne's is bringing a Victorian Christmas Market to the seaside this year. The Christmas Lights Switch time and location has yet to be confirmed.

Who will be hosting?

The event will be hosted by singer Beverley Alexander .

Who will be performing?

Confirmed performers include multi-instrumentalist Pete Lindup playing Olde Time Music Hall songs, as well as local choirs and carollers, Shanty singers and brass bands.

Children will also be invited to visit Father Christmas in his Grotto in Park Road from 1pm.

Will there be free parking?

There is no free parking planned, but visitors can park at the nearby North Beach Car Park (FY8 2PP) with two to four hours priced at a £2.30 or £2.90 for over 4 hours.

Fleetwood

When is the big switch on and what time will it start?

A Christmas parade is due to set off at 5pm from Fisherman’s Walk/Ash Street with groups assembling there at 4.45pm to see Santa arrive on the Western Train illuminated tram.

The switch-on itself takes place at the Marine Hall Gardens after the lantern parade through the town centre.

The Parade, headed by the illuminated tram with children and local dignitaries on board, will also include the Old Boys Band. Joining the procession will be The Willow Garden Project’s impressive 8ft illuminated Snow Queen Lantern and star lanterns.

Cast members of the panto Jack and the Beanstalk, being staged at the Marine Hall next month, will walk among the crowds.

The Carnival Queen with her retinue, youth groups and the public carrying their lanterns will make their way down Lord Street and North Albert Street. The procession will halt at the Euston Gardens where the tram passengers will alight to join the procession to the Marine Gardens where a Christmas concert will take place presided over by local DJ David Scrivener.

Fleetwood singer Nicola Hayton will perform, and Shakespeare School Infant Choir will sing traditional carols and songs. The lights switch will then be pulled by one of the seven lucky ticket-winner school children and the Mount Pavilion lights will be switched on by Councillor Terry Rogers.

Will there be free parking?

Visitors can park for free at Central Car Park in Promenade Road.

What’s the ticket situation?

The event is free to everyone.