WIGAN started its official countdown to Christmas last night when festive lights were switched on in the town centre.
Thousands packed into Market Place for an evening of music and entertainment aimed at getting everyone, especially shoppers, into the Christmas spirit.
Fresh from his exit from the X Factor, singer Kye Sones performed before the switch-on.
The 30-year-old topped the bill, with a number of other acts also making appearances.
Star of BBC talent show The Voice, Frances Wood, sang, showing exactly just why Will.I.Am thought so highly of her on the programme.
Local singer Scott Chapman returned, and was joined by fellow Wiganers Boomin.
Also performing were Britain’s Got Talent star Olivia Archbold, One Voice and Zoe Unsworth.
Youngsters were entertained by Wigan’s very own CBBC star Hacker T Dog, while Wigan Warriors stars Darrell Goulding and Harrison Hansen and Latics legend Neill Rimmer also put in appearances.
Rugby league fans had the chance to pose with the World Cup ahead of next year’s tournament.
The evening was organised by town centre management, The Galleries and the Grand Arcade.
Wigan’s former Big Brother contestant Luke Marsden was there to enjoy the festivities: “It’s getting better every year,” he said.
“We have had so many more people this year, it’s unreal! I’ve had a great night.
“People have been on at me all year about it. The line-up this year is superb too.”
Scott Chapman was also impressed. “It’s been wonderful again and I’m so happy to be asked to be here.
“For a Wigan lad to perform in front of a Wigan crowd and have people singing back to me is amazing.
“I want to say a massive thank you to the organisers who have done a wonderful job!”
Galleries shopping centre manager Richard Paxton said: “It has been another wonderful year
“The crowd has been amazing once again. It’s great to see not just big national acts but also so much local on talent too.”
And Grand Arc,ade manager John Sanson added: “I think it gets better every year.
“The acts we have had on have been phenomenal and the crowds have been great again.
“Luke and Danny have done another wonderful job presenting too.”
Wigan town centre manager Mike Matthews was also pleased to see so many people there:. He said: “It just gets bigger each year and Wiganers love it. It’s a great way to kick off the late night shopping!”
Rosie Jones, 14, from Hindley loved the event “It’s been amazing.
“Kye was fantastic, he was my favourite on the X Factor!
“The lights look great, too.”
Melanie Davies, 15, from Ince said she had a great night. She said: “The singers were amazing. I came last year but it was better this year.”
Susan Parsons, 32, from Springfield said: “It’s such a great family evening out.
“The organisers have done a fantastic job and to get someone as big as Kye here is terrific too.”