Blackburn with Darwen Council in partnership with Blackburn BID have announced a packed programme of festive fun for Christmas 2018 kicking off with the Christmas Lights’ Switch On Show on Saturday 24th November 2018.

Blackburn’s BIG Christmas, sees a Christmas Market take over Cathedral Square stuffed with food, drink and entertainment. The four-week market will bring traditional log cabins to the new event space behind the Cathedral and will be open 7 days a week from Thursday 29th November. It’s the first time Blackburn has hosted this style of market which will also see late night openings from Thursday and into the weekend for visitors to enjoy some warming Christmas evening fun.

Other highlights include:
The Blackburn Christmas Parade with magical princes and princesses, mischievous elves, giant stilt walkers and, of course, an appearance from the main man himself, Father Christmas, will add some Christmas sparkle to the town centre with an enchanted finale in Cathedral Square.

A new event to Blackburn will see hundreds of ‘dashers’ suit-up as Father Christmas for a family-friendly charity Santa Dash around the town centre. People of all abilities are invited to take part, including experienced runners, beginners taking on their first 5k challenge or a family looking to get active – this event is open to all, including your dogs! The speedy Santas will be raising funds for the NW Air Ambulance.


The Blackburn Festival of Light returns on Saturday 15th December and will see hundreds of lanterns paraded across the town, with dazzling drummers, fire performers and incredible illuminated

 structures. People of all ages are encouraged top take part in lantern making workshops taking place in the run up to the event in locations across the town including Blackburn. The parade follows the Annual Community Carol Service at the Cathedral and ends with spectacular performances and fireworks at the Town Hall. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a unique Light Installation inside the Cotton Exchange building.

Nicola Clayton, Chair of Blackburn BID, said:

“Blackburn’s Big Christmas will be bigger and better than ever this year with something for everyone but with a real local feel, supporting and promoting the best of Blackburn. Kicking off with the Christmas Lights’ Switch on in partnership with Rock FM, we have the new Christmas Markets on Cathedral Square coming to Blackburn Town Centre, a Christmas parade performed by our very own Blackburn based business, Pop up Entertainment, the first town centre Santa Dash and the biggest Festival of Light yet. Only a few weeks to wait before the markets arrive following the Christmas Lights switch-on event. I can hear the sleigh bells already. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!”

Phil Riley, Executive member for Regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said:

“Blackburn looks set to have a packed programme of Christmas events this year as well as a whole host of additional festive attractions. The Christmas Market is an exciting venture for the town and we hope it will attract visitors from a wide area.”

Loraine Jones, General Manager of The Mall Blackburn, added:

“The Mall is excited to be working in partnership on this year’s festive programme and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from all over the North West for our excellent range of shops and restaurants. It’s an exciting time of year and Blackburn has lots to offer.”

The Christmas events are being supported in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackburn Businesses Improvement District and The Mall.