CAMELS and wise men led the way through the packed Calne town centre for the annual lantern parade and Christmas lights switch on event.

Thousands of people took part in the Christmas Festival on Saturday and watched as the camel-led procession made its way through the lined streets with their handmade lanterns.

Before the big switch on, people in The Strand watched on a big screen as thousands gathered for world record attempt a few streets away and were kept entertained by carols and a live feed of Bethlehem's town centre.

Nine-year-old Scott Henning and six-year-old James Tyler from Heddington School had the honour of switching on the lights this year as the school won the annual Guy Fawkes bonfire competition and headteacher Ashley Martin said they were delighted.

"It was very exciting and it was an honour to be such a big part of it all," he said. "They were absolutely buzzing but quite nervous I think to turn the lights on in front of so many people. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the children and it will live in their memories forever."

Fireworks were also set off behind the Town Hall after the lights switch on to round the successful festive extravaganza to a close.

Speaking after the event Mayor Coun Tom Rounds said: "I have never seen this many people in the town ever! The town has embraced community spirit by supporting town events like this and it is fantastic. I want to say a big thank you to everyone."