ST HELENS Christmas Lights switch on took place in Church Square last night, with acts entertaining crowds before Child of Courage winner Leah Bennett turned on the town's festive lights.

The event was originally scheduled to take place last Saturday, but was postponed due to Storm Arwen and the heavy winds that came to the region.

Despite the event being re-organised in a short space of time, hundreds of residents still flocked to enjoy the festivities on a cold December evening.

St Helens Star: Hundreds of residents flocked to the festive switch on after it was rescheduled from last Saturday (Pic: Bernard Platt)Hundreds of residents flocked to the festive switch on after it was rescheduled from last Saturday (Pic: Bernard Platt)

Starting at 5pm, there was a real mixture of performances in the town centre such as MD Creatives blasting through their choreographed dance routines, local DJ and producer Eric McKenna, singer Kerrie Ann Lomas, Sutton Manor Primary School choir and performers from the Goldilocks and the Three Bears pantomime.

Multi-award winning band Boomin headlined the event with a mixture of covers and festive hits, while local rugby heroes Jodie Cunningham and Alex Walmsley also took the stage to speak about their recent triumphs.

St Helens Star: Sutton Manor Primary School choirSutton Manor Primary School choir

To get everyone into the Christmas spirit, festive characters such as Father Christmas, elves and the Grinch made their way through the crowds throughout the evening, taking pictures with many delighted youngsters.

St Helens Star: Father Christmas was a number of festive characters that made their way through the crowds (Pic: Bernard Platt)Father Christmas was a number of festive characters that made their way through the crowds (Pic: Bernard Platt)

For the main event, the Child of Courage winner at the Pride of St Helens Awards turned on the town's festive lights, along with the Mayor Sue Murphy and leader of the Council David Baines.

Leah, from Bold, has courageously battled a rare form of cancer since she was diagnosed three years ago.

After undergoing pioneering surgery, the St Bartholemew's pupil got the all clear at Alder Hey Children's Hospital last year. Unfortunately, a tumour has returned but the nine-year-old's condition is currently stable due to her treatment.

St Helens Star: Child of Courage winner Leah Bennett turning on the lights with the mayor Sue Murphy (Pic: Bernard Platt)Child of Courage winner Leah Bennett turning on the lights with the mayor Sue Murphy (Pic: Bernard Platt)

In addition to the entertainment, there were also fairground rides and food trucks available for those who attended, while an outdoor synthetic ice rink was unveiled on the former Chalon Way multi-storey car park.

The synthetic ice rink forms part of a popular Christmas in St Helens campaign which includes a winter tipi full of Christmas crafts and an American-style drive in cinema showing a number of family classics, with Home Alone (sold out), The Polar Express, and Elf (sold out) being screened over the coming weeks.

St Helens Star: The synthetic ice rink on the former Chalon car park (Pic: Bernard Platt)The synthetic ice rink on the former Chalon car park (Pic: Bernard Platt)

St Helens Star: MD Creatives wowing crowds with their dance performancesMD Creatives wowing crowds with their dance performances

St Helens Star: Goldilocks and the three bears (Pic: Bernard Platt)Goldilocks and the three bears (Pic: Bernard Platt)

St Helens Star: Jodie Cunningham and Alex Walmsley (Pic: Bernard Platt)Jodie Cunningham and Alex Walmsley (Pic: Bernard Platt)

St Helens Star: Snowwomen entertaining guests (Pic: Bernard Platt)Snowwomen entertaining guests (Pic: Bernard Platt)

St Helens Star: Kendal and Sofia enjoying the switch onKendal and Sofia enjoying the switch on

St Helens Star: A young girl amazed with the festivities (Pic: Bernard Platt)A young girl amazed with the festivities (Pic: Bernard Platt)

St Helens Star: The tree lit up in Church SqaureThe tree lit up in Church Sqaure

St Helens Star: Crowds loved the festive entertainment on show (Pic: Bernard Platt)Crowds loved the festive entertainment on show (Pic: Bernard Platt)