CHRISTMAS has officially arrived in Totnes, heralded in by young singers and dancers plus a visit from a jolly Santa Claus at the grand festive lights switch on event.

The town centre was awash with merriment when the mayor Cllr Emily Price flicked the switch on the towering Christmas tree, leaving it twinkling at the Market Square.

The town council also laid on street entertainment, inviting children from St John’s and The Grove primary schools to sing carols, youngsters from SaMMs (Saturday Morning Music School to take to the stage, and the Totnes Brass Band to entertain the crowds with a rousing festive performance.

Father Christmas handed out sweets, donated by Totnes Morrisons, and members of the library’s knit and natter group helped local children make dozens of gnomes, which are now on display in shop windows throughout the town centre.

The youngsters made more than 40 gnomes using hats knitted by the group and these have been used create a Gnome Trail in the high street.

Cllr Price said: “It was fantastic to see so many people at the Christmas light switch on this year, and to watch the performances from so many of our local children and young people from The Grove and St John’s primary schools, and from SaMM music school.

“The gnome-making was also a great success thanks to the library’s knit and natter group - look out for them in the local shops.

“What with pizza (thanks Pizza Pirates), cake (Food in the Community being brilliant as ever), juggling (the marvellous Elfic), giants, the most affable Santa in Devon, and our local brass band, it was a wonderful festive afternoon.”