CHRISTMAS officially arrives in Ledbury with the switch-on of the town's Christmas Lights.

It is an event which usually brings large crowds to the town centre.

This year, the launch of the festive season will take place on Saturday, November 28.

Cllr Martin Eager of the Christmas Lights committee said: "All we ask is that it is a dry day and hopefully everybody will have a lot of fun; remember this is one of the few occasions when local children have to visit Father Christmas in Ledbury."

Santa will arrive at the Market House at 1pm, courtesy of the Westerns Cider Dray, and then he will spend the afternoon in his grotto, at the Burgage Hall, Church Lane.

There will be plenty to entertain the crowds in the town centre.

Cllr Eager said: "Under the Market House in the afternoon there will be music from Ledbury Brass Band, and the Ledbury Dance Troupe will perform a couple of routines. The Silurian Morris Men will be performing as will Ledbury Community Choir,

"There will also be a juggler and at around 4pm, a look-a-like Queen Elsa from Frozen will be making a guest appearance."

From noon on the day, Steele Auctions of Birmingham will be holding a toy auction and raffle next to the Market House.

The top prize ticket for an X-Box will be drawn at 5pm.

Before then, at 4.30pm, the lights will be switched on by Ledbury Carnival Queen and Queen Elsa.

A fun-seekers will be able to stay warm and well-fed during the day.

Cllr Eager said: "The usual market stalls will be in the High Street, and hot food and drink will be available from all the nearby cafes all afternoon.

"This year we have a new set of lights, longer strings and better displays, they will also be on longer than previous years to brighten up the town on dark winter afternoons."

The Christmas Tree will be going up this weekend and this has once again been donated by Countrywide.

There is a great deal of community support for Ledbury's Christmas Lights.

Cllr Eager said: "This year Ledbury traders have collected hundred of pounds towards the lights via collection boxes on their shops."

As part of the fund-raising drive, a total of 300 Christmas stars, to help decorate the community tree, have been made by Cllr Jayne Roberts.

These are currently on sale at Past and Present, Ledbury News and the Glass House.