Thousands of people saw Christmas start with a bang in Chorley as fireworks lit up the sky to officially kick-start the town’s festivities.

More than 3,000 people enjoyed a packed entertainment programme on Saturday afternoon before two of Chorley’s Paralympic heroes and Wigan and England rugby league star Josh Charnley flicked the switch to turn on the Christmas lights to a spectacular firework display. The switch-on was an opportunity for local people to congratulate Paralympic athletes Graeme Ballard and Rik Waddon who were cheered by the crowds as they showed off their medals.

Before the switch-on, Chorley singer Jonjo Kerr returned to his home town for the second year running.

Also on stage were tribute acts Abba Forever and Lady Ga-Ga plus performances from CADOS and Buckshaw VAMP, who gave people a flavour of what’s to come in their Christmas pantomime performances.