Coronation Street Star To Light Up Leyland

Locals are invited to come ‘Light Up Leyland’ on Saturday (27 November) as the always popular Leyland Christmas Festival makes its eagerly-anticipated return.

Special guest Alan Halsall (aka Tyrone Dobbs from Coronation Street) will be switching on the town’s Christmas lights while there’ll be a host of live music and entertainment for all the family.

Hough Lane will be lined with street stalls selling a variety of food and drink as well as arts, crafts and unique gift ideas that will make perfect stocking fillers come the big day.

There’ll also be fun fairground rides and children’s activities plus Santa’s Grotto where youngsters can make their wishes to Father Christmas.

A record crowd of more than 6,000 people attended the event’s fifth anniversary in 2019, with Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury the star attractions. However, last year’s celebrations had to be cancelled because of Covid-19.

This year, South Ribble Borough Council has worked closely with Leyland Town Team to ensure the festival can go ahead in a safe manner. Hand sanitiser stations will be in place along the high street and stewards will be on site to prevent overcrowding.

Councillor Paul Foster, Leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “With the return of Leyland Christmas Festival, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

“We’re really excited about this year’s event – especially after missing out last year. Obviously, a lot has happened since the last festival and Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, so rest assured we’ll be putting things in place to limit overcrowding and keep everybody as safe as possible.

“Christmas is a time to come together and celebrate and, by taking sensible precautions and being considerate of others in the true Christmas spirit, we can all have a great time and do our bit to support local independent traders.

“The return of live music to the town centre will also be a really welcome sight, so please come along and treat yourself to some Christmas cheer!”

The fun starts at 11.30am with the opening of street stalls and fairground rides, while there’ll be children’s activities in the indoor market from 12 noon.

Entertainment on the main stage will begin at 1.30pm, with live music from popular performers including James Christy, the Phil Ireland Band, Tom & Bianca, Just Giorge, Connor Banks, Kev Jameson and Grace Handyside.

Corrie actor Alan Halsall will be flicking the switch on the town’s seasonal illuminations at 5.30pm and festivities will finish at 6.15pm.

The event will also include a two-minute’s silence in remembrance of all those lost to Covid-19.

Martin Carlin, Chairman of the Leyland Town Team, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our ever-growing event is back!

“After a really successful festival in 2019, when we had Molly-Mae Hague switching on our Christmas Lights, we had to go all-out to land another high-profile celebrity in Alan Halsall from Coronation Street.

“Come and join us for some festive cheer and help us light up Leyland in style!”

The town’s Christmas festivities will actually begin on Friday evening (26 November) with a smaller lights switch-on at Leyland Cross between 5pm-6.45pm. The event will include carol singing and be followed by free mince pies and refreshments at St Andrew’s Church.

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