Christmas Cheer has once more descended upon Bridport as crowds flocked to see the tree light up and enjoy the festivities.

Mayor David Bolwell turned the lights on the tree on at 6pm tonight, which kickstarted the beautiful festive displays that spread across the streets.

There were also stalls, refreshments, choirs, late night shopping, and of course Father Christmas.

A Christmas market trailed its way along East, South and West Streets, offering visitors the chance to browse a selection of local goods and perhaps find the perfect, unique Christmas gift.

One of the most highly anticipated events of the day – the lantern parade – started from the Lyric Theatre at 6.45pm and saw crowds parading down the street as darkness hit, illuminating the way with lanterns.

Lydia Hill visited with her husband Richard their friends.

She said: "It's absolutely awesome. We what just saying what a good job they have done. There's a beautiful atmosphere. Lots of effort was put in. We are excited to see the tree being lit."

Sally Vaughan from Bridport came down with her dog Queenie.

She said: "I am having fun. I think it's really nice. For me it's been really spontaneous.

"I was at a Christmas do with the Bridport District Nurses at the Bull Hotel and then roamed into town and bumped into lots of old friends."

Mayor Dave Bolwell said: "It's wonderful to see so many people here especially the children having fun and I really enjoyed the singing earlier.

"I would like to thank all of the people and businesses that come together to stage Christmas Cheer every year and on behalf of everyone at the town council, may I wish you all a happy Christmas season and may the new year be full of hope for peace everywhere."

Daryl Chambers, chair of the event, said: "We were obviously pretty concerned about the weather but we decided to go ahead because it's hard to book it all again a week later.

"The weather has been very kind to us but the staff behind us have been absolutely brilliant. My thanks to all the community and the sponsors. This is the hardest event (to organise) that we hold and it wouldn't happen without them."