Two of the biggest celebrities of 2019, Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury, descended on Leyland at the weekend (23 November 2019) to switch on the town's Christmas lights in Hough Lane.
10,000 people attended the Leyland Christmas Festival, which saw practically the entire stretch of Hough Lane taken over by stallholders and small businesses selling street food, drinks, arts, crafts, gifts and much more.
Santa's Grotto was again popular this year, with hundreds of children getting their much sought-after moment with Father Christmas.
Fairground rides, live music and children's activities completed the long list of things you could do on the day.
Martin Carlin, Chairman of Leyland Town Team, said: “This is our fifth-year anniversary. Each year, we build to make it bigger and better, and this year we reached a new level – I was absolutely amazed by the turnout, it was such a fantastic success.
“We tried a new location and I have to say I don’t think I have ever seen Hough Lane so busy or so vibrant.
“Everything really came together in such a fantastic way. I have to thank all the artists who appeared on stage – also everyone else involved; the day was surely good for the local economy. I’ve had some fantastic feedback from the stallholders, retailers and businesses.
“By the time we reached 5.30pm, I was on stage looking out to what I could only describe as unbelievable! There were thousands of people. I got most of the crowd to put their torches on their phones as I wanted to see how far back the crowd. I just thought, ‘wow’!
“I got a message then to say Tommy Fury was with her; and another message came to say he was going to appear on stage with her. As I introduced them both on stage, the screams and noise was astounding. Molly-Mae turned to me and said she did not expect this amount of people – they both got their phones out and started taking pictures of the crowd.
“People went home happy in the knowledge that they had seen one of this year’s biggest celebrities: a Love Island contestant.
“Thank you to all those who turned out to this ever-growing event here in Leyland and a big thank you to the main event sponsor, Royal Flush Vape.”
Rebecca Heap, Community Involvement Manager at South Ribble Borough Council, said: “I would like to thank the Leyland Town Team for all their efforts this year with the ‘Light Up Leyland’ project.
“This is not something that happens overnight – it is months of fundraising, organising and planning – likewise with the Leyland Christmas Festival itself.
“Therefore, we have many people to thank and pay tribute to, not least the council staff and volunteers who ran the event so smoothly.
“What I am most pleased about is the fact that dozens of small businesses in Leyland have benefited from the event: they have been able to attract new customers by selling their excellent local produce, showing that Leyland remains a great market town with lots to offer.
“This is just the start, though – residents of South Ribble can now look forward to more Christmas events such as the Lostock Hall Christmas Lights Switch On (4pm till 6.30pm on Thursday 5 December on Hope Terrace); the Longton Christmas Market, 9am till 1pm on Friday 6 December in St Andrew’s Church Hall; and the Much Hoole Lights Switch On and Christmas Market on Saturday 7 December, 4.30pm till 9pm, at Hoole Village Hall.
“Christmas in South Ribble has got off to a great start and we look forward to delivering the rest of our packed events schedule!”