A ‘BEST ever’ Christmas lights display is set to usher in a packed festive season in Otley.

This year’s illuminations will be switched on at 7pm on Monday, November 25 - and those hoping for a ‘white Christmas’ are in for a treat. The Town Council is shaking things up by changing from the usual multi-coloured lights to an ‘ice white’ display.

The size of the display has also been increased and will now incorporate 50 motifs and cover more parts of town. The switch-on, which will see a variety of festive attractions set up in the Market Place from 5.30pm, will be followed by the Victorian Fayre, Otley Christmas Tree Festival and Otley Snowman Trail.

Otley Town Council Chair Councillor Richard Hughes said: “Otley’s Christmas lights switch-on is always a fabulous occasion and launches our long list of great Christmas events.

“This year’s lights will take on a new look that we hope will retain the traditional Christmas theme but also have a more contemporary feel. The entertainment we have lined up is packed with local talent and the 7pm fireworks will ensure the season starts with a bang.”

A new promotional Christmas film, highlighting Otley’s credentials as a seasonal destination, is also set to be launched soon.

Organisers Visit Otley are promising it will be a ‘real cracker’. A spokesperson said: “Otley’s Christmas celebrations are set to be bigger and better than ever.

“The lights switch-on evening will also feature performances from the likes of Emeli Mumford, Joseph O’Brien and Otley Brass Band as well as fairground rides, an appearance by Santa and street performances.

“Then from noon to 6pm on Sunday, December 1 we’ll have the return of the Victorian Fayre which will include street entertainment, food stalls and shopping outlets as well as fairground rides and games stalls.

“From Wednesday, December 11 the celebrations will move to Otley Parish Church for the Otley Christmas Tree Festival which launches at noon and then takes place daily from 10am to 6pm until Saturday December 14. Forty beautiful trees will be decorated by local groups and there will be performances by choirs and artists. Entry is free but visitors are encouraged to throw a few coins in the fundraising buckets.”

This year’s Snowman Trail runs from December 1 to December 22. Residents and businesses are being encouraged to make ‘snow figures’ for the trail, with proceeds going to local charity Hang on to a Dream.

The deadline for completed entry forms to be returned is Friday, November 15.

For more details visit www.otleysnowmantrail.weebly.com.