Maryport turned out in its hundreds to welcome Christmas back to town.

After the cancellation of last year's live Christmas lights switch on, the town was ready to celebrate and did.

In fact the demand was so great that Santa's grotto ran out of its 250 gift bags in the first hour. Rather than disappoint, the remaining around 100 children were allowed to visit him for free, to reel off their Christmas lists and to accept the sweets that were given out instead.

Town clerk Lisa Douglas said: "The labour club, where some of our activities were held, was full and so was Senhouse Street.

"It was a bitterly cold day but stayed dry. The mulled wine and mince pies provided by the Golden Lion Hotel were much appreciated, as was the tea coffee and hot chocolate from the council."

She said the live entertainment was appreciated including magical performances from Netherhall School Choir, Ellie Rawlinson and "bendy siblings" Aleksei and Arianna Anderson.

There were various stalls doing brisk business and fairground rides for the younger children.

Two children were selected from each of the town's schools and Flimby school to help Santa and Mayor Peter Kendall to switch on the lights.

Mr Kendall said: "It was great to see so many people out. Last year we did a videoed virtual tour of the lights for people to watch but it wasn't the same as having a live event.

"Thanks to everyone involved - the entertainers, the stall and fairground people, the town clerks and the councillors who turned up to help. "