N-Trance set to headline Darwen Christmas Lights Switch On!

Published 17th Oct 2023

Get ready to set your Christmas spirit free at the Darwen lights switch on with headline act, N-Trance!

One of the biggest selling UK dance acts of the 90s, N-Trance is topping the bill for this year’s Christmas lights event on Saturday, November 18th.

Last year saw record crowds fill Darwen Market Square and this year organisers, Crafty Vintage, are working hard with Blackburn with Darwen Council and Darwen Town Council to make it even bigger and better!

It’ll see the popular festive markets return with a fantastic selection of food, drink and stalls filled with gift ideas.

Plus, there’ll be live entertainment right through from 11am into the early evening with special visits from Father Christmas, free panto performances, singing, dancing and of course the big switch on itself!

And, this year the festive fun will stretch up Bridge Street too with dancing elves, singing and outdoor character performances.

Councillor Quesir Mahmood, Deputy Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council and Executive Member for Growth and Development, said:

“What an event this will be!

“The Christmas lights switch on is always one of the most popular events in the Darwen calendar and thousands and thousands of people turn out each year with record crowds in 2022.

“Already, the line-up is looking really good – lots of fun for all the family and N-Trance are sure to get the Christmas party started.

“We work hard every year to put on a really good event for Darwen – be sure to head on down and make a day of it enjoying all there is to offer in the Market Square while supporting the fantastic local businesses too.”

Brass ravers, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners – regulars at Manchester’s Freight Island and the Trafford Centre, are new to the line-up for 2023.

The marching musician’s impressive playlist celebrates the Hacienda, 90s club culture – a perfect match with N-Trance and their 6 million record sales worldwide, including their huge hit ‘Set You Free.’

And, in a change to the rundown, they’ll perform twice – their second turn being on the stage once the lights are on as an added celebration.

Introducing them will be crowd favourite, Kiki DeVille who’ll return once again as compere along with the talented pupils from Darwen School of Music and the Lancashire Dance Academy – adding a touch of Strictly Come Dancing glamour to the rundown.

And, IceGlitz will be back for 2023 too – this time with character performances including Christmas puddings, Santa, stilt walker and fire and ice dancers.

Leader of Darwen Town Council, Councillor Kevin Connor, said:

“We’re always proud to support the Darwen Christmas Lights Switch On event – it gets bigger and better every single year.

“Based on feedback, this year we’ve asked for the entertainment to stretch up Bridge Street too which is an added bonus.

“Our Darwen Town Council Mayor, Councillor Stephanie Brookfield is looking forward to being on stage for the countdown, seeing lots of happy people enjoying the event and all there is to offer across our town.”

Father Christmas will also be back in Darwen Market with Culturapedia for his special story time sessions which were a sell out in 2022.

And, after being such a hit last year, he’ll be telling jokes on the main stage too – spreading Christmas cheer to the crowds.

Also set to be a hit with families, will be the special performance from the cast of King George’s Hall’s panto, Aladdin. They’re set to wow with a 40 minute slot on stage, oh yes they are!

Laura Johnson, from event organisers Crafty Vintage said:

“The bar has been set incredibly high for the Darwen Christmas Light Switch On event in recent years and we’ve had brilliant feedback.

“The festive markets have been a fantastic addition and have meant we can run the event right throughout the afternoon and later into the evening too.

“We’re working really hard behind the scenes and looking forward to wowing the crowds once again. We can’t wait to see you there.”

Here’s the full line-up for the event:

From 10am – Darwen Market Square

  • Festive markets
  • Ice Glitz Christmas Characters
  • Dancing Elves with Zoe Taylor Dance
  • Dharmonies Choir
  • Helter-skelter & Miami Wave

From 10:30am – Darwen Market

  • Storytelling with Santa – look out for details on how to book

From 11am – Bridge Street

  • Dancing Elves with Zoe Taylor Dance
  • Jazz Vocalist Arthur Geldard
  • Mr Wilson Second Liners

From 2pm – Live on stage in Darwen Market Square

  • Kiki DeVille
  • Darwen School of Music
  • Lancashire Dance Academy
  • Paul Stuart Davies
  • Jokes with Santa
  • King George’s Hall’s Aladdin Panto Performance
  • N:Trance
  • Christmas Lights Switch On
  • Mr Wilson’s Second Liners

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