Hundreds of guests turned out to enjoy an evening of fireworks, dance and music as an annual Diwali celebration dinner took place.

The event, which is proving to be one of the highlights of the year, was the biggest yet with around 700 guests packed into the Grand Venue in Harrison Street in Preston.

The event, supported by the Saffron Group, raised more than £3,000 for good causes including the Mayor's charity, the Community Foundation for Lancashire and Blackburn and Darwen Youth Zone. 

In attendance were Nigel Evans MP, Blackburn College principal Fazal Dad, Edwin Booth, Khalid Saifullah and Christine Kirk, Vice Lieutenant for Lancashire, who lit a candle of 'hope and prosperity' for the region. 

Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Cllr Parwaiz Akhtar thanked the organisers for hosting another spectacular event. Council leader Phil Riley opened the festivities on the night which began with silent fireworks.

Asian Image:

Pictures by Jon Thompson 

Asian Image:

Ashok Chudasama from the Blackburn Hindu Centre said: "The Blackburn Hindu Centre are proud to support such a prestigious and inclusive event.  

"We are a giving community and on Saturday we showed the best of what we can achieve when we celebrate and laugh together."

Asian Image:

Asian Image:

Businessman Ram Gupta, who helped to plan the dinner, said: "The Lancashire Festival of lights was an incredible evening.

"A huge thank you to the dignitaries, guests, corporates, communities and people of all ages who enjoyed an evening of fun, food and dance together.  

"Our thanks also to the venue for helping to put on the event which was the biggest in the North West.

"Here’s to a society that realises its humanity before anything else."

The event was supported by a range of Blackburn-based companies.