LLANFYLLIN residents celebrated the start of the festive season last weekend with lights, music and the first of three Christmas markets.

On Friday, a crowd gathered on the The Square to watch Llanfylliin Ambulance Station's Nick Jones and Mayor Peter Lewis switch on the Christmas lights.

Spirit the pony, Princess Darcey and Santa gave a helping hand and singers Kiri Christoforou, Eleanor Dalmer and Chloe Cable of Llanfyllin High School entertained the audience accompanied by their teacher Gloria Ellis on piano.

On Saturday morning, stallholders braved the windy weather to showcase their gifts throughout town and others displayed their wares inside the Public Institute.

Gloria Ellis returned to The Square at mid morning with student singers Rosa Skipper, Nathaniel Dulson, Emma Bass, Islay Evans, Eleanor Dalmer, Callie Lovatt, Seren Birkitt, Meggie Thomas, Willow Myers from Llanfyllin School and Will Edwards of Llanrhaeader Primary School.

The Mayor announced the winners of the best dressed Christmas window competition: first prize in the business category went to Llwyn Teg, highly commended to Will Denne and Jones Joiners won the 'Fun Factor'.

The residential winner was Anja Torikka, with Kayte, Kerry and Arthur Blake highly commended.

Mayor Peter Lewis said: "The Town Councillors would like to thank everybody for taking part so enthusiastically in the seasonal festivities.

"There was a terrific atmosphere in the town this weekend.

"The crafts and gifts being offered for sale in the market were excellent and there is a lot more to come over the next two weekends.

"We owe thanks also to the local businesses who sponsored the markets this year – Amanda's Hairdressers, Cadwallader and Co Chartered Accountants, Cain Valley Hotel, The Cross Keys, Daisy Blue, Eagles Bistro, The Old New Inn, Spar supermarket, Peter Tomlinson Butchers, Something Tasty and Wyvern Wax."