The Christmas spirit sparkled through the showers during Ilkley’s Christmas light switch- on.

The Grove was lit up with happy children’s faces as Santa Claus brightened up the town by officially turning on the festive lights on Saturday.

Hundreds of people turned out to soak up the festive atmosphere and to watch Father Christmas arrive in a horse- drawn carriage along with a children’s procession.

The crowds enjoyed the build-up to the ceremony, which included Christmas music from Guiseley Brass Band and entertainment from young members of the Senior Performance Drama School, based in Burley-in-Wharfedale.

The members of the group danced and sang Christmas favourites including All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey and Last Christmas, by Wham.

Stray FM radio station promoted the switch-on and attended the event and chatted to the crowds asking children what they wanted for Christmas.

The event, organised by Ilkley Parish Council, started earlier in the afternoon when youngsters got the chance to visit Santa’s grotto in Christchurch.

Festive treats were on offer throughout the afternoon including mulled wine, laid on by Bettys, and bangers cooked by award-winning Ilkley sausage-maker David Lishman.