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Big crowds watch Rochdale's Christmas lights switch on
- 24 November 2015
Well over 1,000 people attended the event which featured on-stage entertainment, food and drink. Earlier in the day a very popular festive indoor market was held and the Town Hall was lit in spectacular colours, providing a vivid backdrop for the evening featuring top local acts, including X Factor star Danny Dearden, singers Gem O'Reilly and Katie O'Malley. Hopwood Hall College drama students got the crowd in a spin with their version of Rockin around the Christmas Tree, and Turners Dance Studio performed festive routines and a groovy Austin Powers themed dance! Wardle Community Brass Band played Christmas favourites and the show was hosted by David Ditchfield from Revolution 96.2.
Father Christmas made a guest appearance, appearing on the Town Hall balcony before making his way to the stage and players from Rochdale Hornets and Desmond the Dragon from Rochdale AFC also took part in the celebrations.
Just after 6pm the lights were switched on by The Mayor Councillor Surinder Biant and Father Christmas.
The Mayor, Councillor Surinder Biant, said: "The crowds were fantastic, our Town Hall looked stunning and the evening had a really family feel to it. It's a community event and was very special, all our performers were superb and the atmosphere was perfect. The children definitely enjoyed it. It's a nice thing to do with all the family and that's what it's all about."
Local youngsters played a special part in the celebration, bringing Christmas lanterns to create a sea of light in the crowds.
Touchstones Arts and Heritage Centre arranged for an artist to capture the evening on canvas. Once complete the artwork will be on show across the town.
As the lights twinkled after the big switch on the evening ended with a firework display. Thanks to Hurstwood Holdings they were set off from the roof of No2 The Esplanade (The Old Post Office).
Issued by Rochdale Borough Council 24/11/15.