FAMILIES can reserve lanterns ahead of a parade which takes place during Durham’s annual Christmas festival.

In previous years more than 300 children have taken part in the parade from Durham’s Market Place to the cathedral.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday, December 2, leaving the Market Place at 3.45pm.

Colin Wilkes, managing director of Durham Markets Company, which organises the festival, said: “The lantern procession is a festive favourite for many families with young children leading the way up to the Cathedral.

“Families have returned year after year to enjoy this procession, and we hear many saying that for their family it means Christmas is here.”

Lanterns can be reserved for £5 from www.durhamchristmasfestival.com.

The parade is followed by a carol service at Durham Cathedral at 4.10pm and the festivities will also include carols by Chester-le-Street Salvation Army and a fire-eating display in the Market Place.

The festival takes place from Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 3.