NORTHALLERTON is getting ready for a night of festive celebrations this Friday, starting with the switching on of the town's Christmas lights.

Many High Street stores will stay open until 8pm for Christmas shopping on the Friday, and there will be carols and choirs on the town square.

The lights switch-on will take place at 6.30pm and will be accompanied by entertainment from the Northallerton Male Voice Choir, Northallerton Silver Band and the choirs of One Northallerton group of churches.

Organisers say that the county town is gearing up for one of its biggest Christmas campaigns this year, and Father Christmas will be arriving in the town centre on Sunday, December 1.

The popular Christmas Tree Festival returns to All Saints Parish Church on Friday November 29 and will run until Sunday December 1.

And new for 2019 is the Christmas Elf Trail, with children invited to find 12 elves in shops for the chance to win some festive prizes.

The town will no doubt hope to impress this year after last year's artificial, cone-shaped Christmas tree was dubbed the 'worst in Britain' by some quarters.