IT was Bury’s chance to shine once again when a varied programme of more than 20 innovative arts and cultural events showcased the town’s third annual Light Night Although numbers were down on last year, visitors agree that last Friday’s event was the best so far.

Against a backdrop of illuminated buildings and animated public spaces throughout the town centre, about 22,000 people enjoyed a mix of arts, music, performance and visual treats.

Highlights included hot air balloons at the East Lancashire Railway, vines and roses adorning the walls of the Castle Armoury, an enchanted garden at the Library Gardens, a light show at Bury Art Museum, a light night trail at the Mill Gate shopping centre.

There were also attractions at Kay Gardens, Bury Parish Church gardens, Bury Transport Museum and Gallipoli Garden.

Light Night visitors took advantage of a tasty array of bustling markets and food and drink.

There was a family atmosphere as mums, dads and children followed a trail around the town centre to take in the many sights and sounds.

Cllr Jane Lewis, Bury Council cabinet member for leisure, tourism and culture, said: “There were not as many people as we were expecting.

"But the England football team was playing that night. There were a lot of families and that was something we had been aiming for.

"Today, Bury is being taken seriously in art and culture circles and not many towns or cities do a light night.

"The event was about bringing people in and feeling good as well as supporting the economy.”