THERE was plenty of Christmas cheer to go around when a town welcomed the festive season.

Crowds flocked to Bridport town centre to celebrate the annual Christmas Cheer.

The event kicked off with carols by local schools at the United Church and Bucky Doo Square.

A lantern procession left Barrack Street and made its way through Bucky Doo to the Borough Gardens, where the beautiful, community handmade lanterns lit up the gardens for a short public performance by No Limits.

The Christmas markets were bustling, with delights on offer at the town hall, Arts Centre and Electric Palace, as well as from street traders in South Street, West and East Street

The big moment came when Father Christmas arrived in Bucky Doo Square and the Christmas lights were switched on by town mayor, Cllr Barry Irvine.

Cllr Irvine said: “Typical Bridport - a wonderful family event and everyone enjoyed the evening. We are so lucky to have such a great community spirit. The kids singing carols was really good and the Christmas Tree Festival is another big thing people love and is unique to Bridport.”

People praised the community spirit and friendly atmosphere.

The Affleck family, from Bridport, said: “The Christmas Tree Festival is really lovely for families. There is a really nice community atmosphere. We come here every year. It just gets better and better. We get roasted chestnuts each year and it gets us in the festive spirit.”

Santa’s grotto opened outside the arts centre and the winners of best shop windows were announced as Scott Vevers in first place, Lavender Blue in second and Parkers estate agents in third.

The celebrations went on into the night, with live music at Bucky Doo, The Ropemakers and The Bull.