SANTA Claus is coming to town!

The man in the big red suit will be bringing joy to families when he switches on Farnworth’s Christmas lights.

He will be at Home Bargains, in Market Street Wednesday, November 15, to set the town centre shining for the festive period.

The event begins at 3.30pm and the big switch-on will take place at about 6pm.

And the jovial gift giver will also be handing out chocolate selection boxes to children from babies up to 16-year-olds.

The choice of this year’s street light displays was entrusted to residents of Farnworth, Kearsley and Harper Green.

And they have plumped for the ‘shooting star’ design that will adorn lampposts throughout the yuletide season.

Children’s entertainers Holly and Ivy will also be at the event to keep youngsters entertained with games and fun.

And joining them in the festive spirit will be choirs from St Peter’s and Queen Street schools, singing carols and seasonal tunes.

Other community groups getting involved in the celebration include Farnworth Parents Group, The Well and Angels Dance Fitness and Performance.

Some 400 children enjoyed last year’s event and Farnworth ward councillor Jean Gillies, who organises the celebration with colleagues Cllr Asif Ibrahim and Cllr Noel Spencer, is hoping for another impressive turnout.

“It just gets bigger and bigger every year,” she said.

And Cllr Gillies added it was important for Farnworth to have its own switch on event for families from the town, as well as Kearsley and Harper Green.

She said: “Farnworth doesn’t get much and it always seems to get less when it comes to Christmas. I think it’s important that kids who can’t get to Bolton have a little bit of something .

“We are a deprived town, and some of those kids have very, very little at Christmas – not by choice but because parents can’t keep up with demand.

“If it brings a little bit of festivity and brings people together, it doesn’t matter where they come from – and they can see Father Christmas.”

She added the effort of putting the event on was made worth it by children’s reactions.

She said: “If you have children and see their faces on Christmas morning, you see that on the faces of the kids – because the real Santa Claus is here.

“It’s the one opportunity for the children of Farnworth to meet the real Father Christmas.”

And she says the event has become a real favourite with families in the area.

“Everyone is looking forward to it – I have had lots of emails and phonecalls saying ‘are you doing the lights?

“I hope it doesn’t rain, but even when it’s cold, it’s good fun.”