ON a crisp and clear night, crowds of people took the streets of Barnard Castle to celebrate the start of the festive season together.

A lantern parade led by community group Making Barney Brighter Together, which promotes the market town and its retail offer, started the fun and a Snow Globe and refreshments at Woodleigh were organised by Barnard Castle Town Council. Barnard Castle Brass Band played and Santa, assisted by Cubs, Brownies and Barnard Castle Prep School pupils who made and carried lanterns, then switched on the tree lights. Icicle and festoon lights through the town are coordinated by the Barnard Castle Lights group and supported by the council.

Town clerk Michael King said: “After three days of solid rain, the weather made the evening the perfect start to the Christmas celebrations in Barnard Castle. The crowds were delighted by this year’s lights which complement the icicle and festoon lights.”