REINDEER, elves and Father Christmas stopped off in Corsham on Friday to launch the festive season at the annual lights switch-on.

Chairman of Corsham Town Council Steve Abbott presided over the occasion, but it was five-year-old Mollie Cooke who pressed the button that turned on the Christmas illuminations.

Mollie won the annual Christmas card competition's under-six age category and the overall prize for her jolly robin design, now to be the town council's official card for 2018.

Ella Barrow won the 11-14 class, and Clarissa Chan won for the seven to tens.

Kirsty Gilby, planning and events officer, said: "It was amazing! This is a completely free event, and Corsham just turns out in force."

She added: "It was a fantastic evening, and we were so lucky with the weather.

"We had about 30 stalls in the High Street, such as charities and people selling festive goods, and we had a range of entertainments on the stage at the town hall."

Those entertainments included a band called Noble Jacks, youth dance group Prima Dance, music from members of the Rock Guitar School, a performance by Xpression Street Dance, and then rock and pop choir Viva Vocals and ukelele party band the Red Bandits.

Father Christmas arrived and handed out sweets to children before taking up residence in his grotto next to the town hall. Younger children enjoyed fairground rides.

Two reindeer from the Little Zoo attracted plenty of fans, while colourful balloon man Dave Hickory kept children entertained.

Visitors also checked out the winners of the Christmas Window competition, won this year by Corsham Print Stationery, one of 23 entrants.

The festive spirit continues in St Batholomew's church, where a Christmas Tree Festival runs until December 16.