THE Twelve Days of Christmas was the theme of this year's Calne Christmas Festival of Lights.

Huge crowds in festive mood enjoyed a day of Christmas celebration, beginning at 12 noon with stalls, choirs, music, food and entertainments.

Stunning red and gold stilt walking Christmas Belles, and the Runaway Christmas Tree Fairy strolled around the town.

The annual Lantern Parade on Saturday wended its way from Bremhill View into the town.

As part of the Twelve Days of Christmas theme, large lanterns representing each day were part of a sea of hundred of lit-up lanterns which paraded into the town centre, carried by local school children, community groups and local businesses.

The Mayor of Calne Coun Glenis Ansell said: "The town was full of people. We had events from mid-day on and the atmosphere was lovely.

"There were so many people smiling and waving, and it was just such a joyous event.

"I was so proud."

Town crier Mark Wylie was resplendent in his official costume, while his son Harrison read a poem. In the town hall, a craft and gift market traded in the Corn Market, while upstairs in the large hall a Christmas Choir event featured 12 local choirs, singing seasonal songs throughout the day.

Santa took up residence in the Council Chamber, sponsored by Hills Group and Chilvester Financial, with donations going to the Mayor’s Charities and Calne Lions. New for this year was the Event Piazza, outside the Town Hall and Lansdowne Strand, with bars, hot food, the Calne Silver Band and main stage - as well as reindeer Oslo and Matti.

The town also hosted the Calne Spring monthly market, Jenning’s Funfair and live broadcasts from local station Eartunes Radio, while BBC Wiltshire’s Sue Davies was master of ceremonies on the main stage.

Coun Ansell paid tribute to Sue, saying: "She was wonderful!"

She also thanked events officer, Erin Weaver, who ran multiple workshops to help the children create their lanterns at local schools and at Calne Town Hall, and also this year created an events guide for the new, expanded Festival of Lights, which included lots of useful information for festival-goers.

Finally came the moment everyone was waiting for - the annual Christmas light switch on from the main stage, when Coun Ansell joined youngsters from Heddington School - the winner of the Guy Fawkes competition. The event culminated in a spectacular firework display, with colourful fireworks blossoming in the sky above the town hall.