Wigan Christmas lights switch on: Everything you need to know

Last year's lights switch on
Last year's lights switch on

The countdown to Christmas begins this week when the festive lights are switched on in the town centre.

Organisers are expecting thousands of people to flock to Wigan for the big bash tomorrow (Thursday).

Union J, finalists in the 2013 edition of The X Factor, have been named as headliners.

The band, who have gone on to score a number of huge hits, including Tonight (We Live Forever) and You Got It All, will be performing the lights switch-on duties.

They will receive a helping hand from Jake McKechnie from The Voice Kids, singer Scott Chapman and Myth of Unity, who featured on BBC Music Introducing.

Organisers have also secured an exciting line-up of local entertainment.

The Wigan Youth Choir will also feature to create a festive atmosphere as everyone gears up for Christmas, with guests from Wigan Warriors and Wigan Athletic joining host Chris Milow from the Wish FM Breakfast Show.

The switch-on will take place between 4.30pm and 7.30pm, with a big stage set to be erected in the heart of Wigan.

A reindeer parade will also feature on Sunday November 19.

The event has been created by a team consisting of The Galleries Shopping Centre, Grand Arcade, Wigan Council and Wish FM, all of which have been involved in the switch on over the last few years.

Victoria Nichol, centre manager for The Galleries Shopping Centre, said: “We are all very excited for this year’s Christmas light switch-on, with a fantastic band such as Union J visiting Wigan to light up the town and complete a great night of entertainment.

“As always, we encourage people to arrive early to make sure they secure a good view and join in the festivities as we prepare ourselves for Christmas.”

John Sanson, centre manager of the Grand Arcade, said: “Once again, the brilliant Christmas panel has put together a great programme of events which will take place in the lead-up to Christmas to get everyone in the spirit.

“Everyone involved is very much looking forward to the Christmas light switch on, as well as the reindeer parade, which will take place on Sunday.

“The switch-on event also launches the start of Thursday late night shopping until 8pm, giving plenty of opportunities to get Christmas shopping completed.”

Santa’s Christmas Parade leaves Mesnes Field at 1pm on Sunday.

It is free event with activities taking place in Market Place from 1pm onwards featuring a street theatre, Christmas pipe band and much more for families to enjoy.