Preston house lights wow the festive crowds

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When folk think of a Christmas lights switch-on, big events in town centres come to mind – but one Preston family really knows how to dazzle.

For the Tippings from Preston attracted an estimated 2,000 people to their big switch-on at the weekend.

Charity Christmas house lights switch-on in Cottam

Charity Christmas house lights switch-on in Cottam

The family’s house in Valentines Meadow, Cottam, is festooned with lights from top to bottom – something they do every year in aid of charity.

Mark and Nicola Tipping and their three sons Sam, nine, Joe, eight and Isaac, five, were joined by Preston boxer Scott Fitzgerald, Banks Brass Band, three PNE players and the club’s mascot, the Deepdale Duck, for the event.

They also let off £1,400 of fireworks to kick the festivities off with a bang.

Donations from the switch- on event, a raffle, auction and refreshments have raised £14,685 for three charities.

The lights will stay up until January and the final amount raised will be split between Derian House Children’s Hospice, the Jordan Grant Memorial Fund at Cardiac Risk in the Young and The Chris Rand Fan Club.

Mark, 49, said: “It was an absolute amazing success. We had a bar, we sold hot dogs, we didn’t know how many to get, so we got 800 and we sold out.

“Last time 400 people came, this time we put it on Facebook and 2,000 people turned up.

“We had 28 people working, family and friends, doing the bar and the raffle.

“Three Sisters Fancy Dress gave 10 outfits for people to dress up in.

“We have made an amazing amount of money. We did a raffle and had professional tickets printed for the Tipping’s Raffle and sold 6,000 tickets before the event.

“We’ve had a really good response. All the neighbours are all very supportive. Everyone has been saying it’s fantastic. It gets the community together. We have been doing it for 10 years.”

Mark added: “For the last two months, it has been really hard work, getting all the lights up and ready, doing the ones that are broken, but when you look at it and how much we have raised it is worth it.

“My target for this year was £9,000 and we’ve already beaten that.”

A wishing well for people to donate will remain outside the family’s house for people to continue to donate.

Mark said he wanted to thank his friends and family for their support and the numerous businesses that have helped, including Altrad NSG and Palmers Transport.