THE festive season arrived with a bang in Pershore and Evesham on Saturday as Christmas lights were illuminated in both towns.

In Evesham brand new lights sparkled for the first time with town mayor Mark Goodge joined by cartoon character Peppa Pig for the switch-on. The event was preceded by a day of fun including facepainting for children.

Coun Goodge said: “There seemed to be more people in the square than last year. I really like the new lights and in general we have had more positive comments than negative.”

Wychavon councillor Tom McDonald said the lights and festive market should help to encourage people into Evesham despite the bridge closure.

“Evesham’s Traditional Christmas Market will be open from December 2 to 15, the Rotary Club of Evesham’s Tree of Light switch-on is next Thursday, there will be street entertainers every Saturday to Christmas and Evesham’s Charter Market will operate daily from December 20 to 24.”

In Pershore three youngsters joined mayor Charles Tucker on stage after winning a Christmas card design competition.

Anya Haines, won the competition for the five to seven age group, Morgan Morrissey- Jones, won the seven to ten competition and Kimberly Rafferty was the winner in the 11 to 12 section.

Emma Haines, Anya’s mum, said: “Anya was in her element, she loves the attention so when the mayor introduced her she waved at the crowd.”