Crowds packed Market Place on Friday to celebrate the start of Christmas in Melton with the traditional switching on of the festive lights.
There was a huge cheer as the town centre lit up at 6.45pm after Mayor of Melton, Councillor Tejpal Bains, and his Mayoress, Raj Bains, pressed the button, assisted by the cast of this year’s panto, Cinderella.
Cast members taking part included TV actor Steven Arnold, well known to Coronation Street fans from his role as Ashley Peacock in the soap.
Shoppers and revellers were entertained in the hours leading up to the switch-on by more than 40 acts on stage in the Market Place.
Pupils from several schools throughout the Melton borough took turns to sing carols to add to the festive spirit.
Shelagh Core, who helped organise the event as manager of Melton BID, said: “We definitely had more footfall during the day this year.
“On the Friday we had nine coaches booked to come and 13 actually arrived on the day and that compares to just one coach last year.”
She said lighting was brighter this year with more LED bulbs and extra lights in areas like Church Street leading down to the park.
“More and more school want to take part and this year we had a waiting list,” added Shelagh.
“We started with Grove School at 9.15 and went all the way through with the stage entertainment to 7.30pm.”
Jonathan McGrady, who hosted the lights switch-on again, said afterwards: “Events like the Christmas light switch-on and the Victorian fayre are vital for our town and to see the town so busy with footfall was great to see.
“It’s the busiest I’ve seen the events in recent years and it was great to see so many people enjoying it.”