It’s been a Christmas tradition in Dalton for 25 years.

Every year the Baines family have transformed their home into a Christmas extravaganza, adorning their house in Merlin Drive with vibrant lights.

Their festive fastenings attract thousands of visitors in the month of December and raise cash for charity.

First the idea of Ian Baines, the tradition, which started in 1994, is now carried on by son Paul and his family.

The newly-switched-on lights have begun attracting visitors after nine weeks of preparation to build and install the festive fittings, which include Santas, candy canes and a unicorn, a new addition to the ever-expanding roster of Christmas illuminations.

“It’s so nice to see how many people come and see us every year,” Mr Baines, 49, said.

“It’s a lot of work to put up. This year we started in October, ready for the switch-on in December.

“We must get around 3,500 people coming to visit. Some people come in mini-buses.

“I think it’s fantastic so many people are coming and we manage to raise a good amount for charity, which we’ve starting doing in the past few years.

“Every year we try to change it up and we’ve been expanding it so we started.”

Last year the display raised £684 for St Mary’s Hospice.

The town of Dalton prides itself in making an effort for Christmas with a variety of festive events including festivals, carol services and performances making up a packed schedule of Yuletide delights.

“Dalton is most definitely the Christmas capital of Furness,” said Wendy Maddox, a Dalton councillor. “The Christmas house is a big thing for people.”

A number of events are set to take place in Dalton over the Christmas period. The town has already launched its Christmas Tree Festival, coinciding with the festive switch-on, heard the Mayor’s Christmas Concert and now Dalton is looking ahead to the Christmas at Dowdales Concert on Wednesday. A remembrance service at St Mary’s Church takes place at 6pm on Thursday.

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