SANTA will launch the festive season in Ilkley by switching on the town’s Christmas lights.

The special visitor will be the guest of honour at an afternoon of fun on Saturday, November 23.

This year’s event will include a carriage procession, a real food market, and a grotto. The market will run from 2pm to 6pm and the lights will be switched on at about 5pm.

Biodegradable balloons will be handed out at the event and Bettys will be serving mulled wine. A grotto will be held in Christchurch and a live nativity will be staged in the foyer.

The Grove will be closed to traffic from 1pm to 7pm.

Details of the event were given to Ilkley town Council by Cllr Jennifer Souter.

She said: “It seems to be growing year on year and gives a lot of pleasure to people in the community.”

Last year an estimated 4,000 people turned out to watch Santa switch on Ilkley’s new Christmas lighting scheme .