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  • Hundreds turn up to see Skelmersdale's Christmas lights switched on

    Henry James

    THE countdown to Christmas officially began last Friday when the Concourse kicked off this year’s season in style with their annual Christmas Light Switch-on event.

    The event started at 4pm with a host of festive street performances, including Christmas fairy stilt walkers, balloon modellers, face painting and a brass band – plus a welcome return from Silcocks Funfair.

    WISH FM’s Luke & Lucy hosted the indoor stage, with live performances from some local and regional talent, including singer Jake McKechnie. And heading the event this year, as well as helping Santa and The Mayor Councillor to switch the lights on, was X Factor and I’m A Celebrity finalist Jake Quickenden.

    Santa and his reindeers also returned for a welcome visit. While Santa took his place inside his magical grotto, his reindeer could be found relaxing and having a bite to eat before embarking on the long journey back to the North Pole - minus Santa of course who will be at The Concourse until Christmas Eve.

    The lucky winner of the VIP ‘meet and greet’ competition was Lisa Hawkes, who along with her stepdaughter Savannah, not only got to meet Jake before his upcoming appearance on Dancing on Ice - but also received a framed photograph of their encounter, a free visit to see Santa as well as £50 worth of Concourse Shopping Vouchers

    Anne Peters, interim retail marketing manager at the Concourse said: “Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and it certainly felt wonderful here on Friday.

    “For the past few months we’ve been working closely with the team at WISH FM in preparation for the light switch-on which is always a firm favourite. It was great to have Jake on board and also see all the fabulous talent Skelmersdale and the surrounding areas has to offer - I was blown away by all their performances.

    “We saw an increase in footfall of 4,500 people on the day compared to the previous Friday - a perfect start to the launch of our late night shopping!”

    Paul Davies, owner of The Sweet Stall located inside The Concourse, said “From start to finish there was something on for all ages. Best one in years, here's looking forward to what next year's switch-on brings!”

    The Grotto is located on the upper mall in the old Co-op Travel unit (opposite Thomas Cook) and is open every Friday and Saturday from 10am-5pm and Sundays from 11am-4pm, until Friday, December 15 when it will open daily. There is no need to book and the cost is £4.50 per child, which includes a visit to Santa as well a present. Please check the website for further details.

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