LUKE MARSDEN: I'm switched on for Christmas

The most magical time of the year for Wiganers is here.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 9:20 am
Luke Marsden with Anthony Costa at the 2010 Wigan festive switch-on

The most star-studded event in the showbiz calendar is back with a bang: the Christmas lights switch-on!

Alas dear reader, I won’t be there for this year's event (on Saturday November 20).

I’ve served my time switching on the lights, then hosting the festivities (in fact, I could probably get a Guinness world record for the most consecutive light switch-on events in a town) but it’s right that I’ve passed on the big red button.

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They may not be as flashy as Blackpool illuminations, but they are ours and we should be proud we at least have some plus an actual switch-on event.

Many towns don’t have this pleasure. And, yes, I’ve been there in the past as Wiganers have queued in the pouring rain or freezing cold snow to watch the likes of Antony Costa from Blue perform a solo track, if that doesn’t say Christmas is coming, I don’t know what does.

As council budgets are squeezed and local radio stations have merged into regional and national ones, we’ve lost the big headliners appearing in our town (minus Hacker T Dog of course!) and this year’s line-up leaves me wanting.

The switch-on (and our lights) have seen better days but I’ve no doubt that Wiganers will turn out again tomorrow in the cold to experience the event that remains one of the linchpins of our town’s festive events season.

When the fake snow is fired out of that cannon and (spoiler alert) the guy behind the stage actually pushes the button to switch on the lights, cue a rendition of All I want for Christmas by whoever is on stage, you can then feel content enough to say the words “Merry Christmas”.

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