LANTERN-making workshops proved popular in the town centre during the annual Christmas lights switch-on event.

In the run-up to the switch being flicked by Britain’s Got Talent stars Ashleigh and Pudsey, the Parade held lantern making craft sessions outside Debenhams.

Children were able to decorate their own lanterns with Christmas sparkles and glitter, which they could then take down to the main switch-on event in Wharf Green.

Brian Morris, the Parade Centre’s manager, said: “The light switch-on is such a brilliant event and our lantern-making sessions helped add to the excitement.

“It was great to see so many children thoroughly enjoying themselves and carrying their lanterns down the Parade to the event.

“Christmas is now underway at the Parade and I hope you’ve seen our Christmas tree.”

The impressive lanterns helped add to the festive atmosphere in Wharf Green, where thousands gathered to see the town centre lit up.

As well as Ashleigh and Pudsey, there was a variety of entertainment during the night.

It included performers from Swindon Dance, who put on a festive-themed show and Emily Smith’s aerial hoop performance inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas, complete with skeleton make-up and a recorded message from Wyvern Theatre pantomime villain Nigel Havers, who will play King Rat in Dick Whittington this month.