FESTIVE excitement has officially arrived in Whitchurch after the stars of a pantomime turned on the Christmas lights.

This year the town has a new display of brightly coloured LCD lights, donated and installed by Whitchurch company Planned Lighting Main-tenance.

Two of the stars of The Anvil’s pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs were there to help push the plunger and switch on the town centre.

Following a countdown, Luke Roberts of the TV show Hi-5 and Whitchurch resident Brian Wheeler, who has appeared in Harry Potter films, joined the Mayor of Whitchurch Jackie Day to light up the Town Hall and square.

Afterwards, Luke, who plays Prince Charming in Snow White, and Brian, who plays one of the seven dwarfs, signed autographs in the Town Hall.

The crowds were also entertained by members of Singing For Fun and an orchestra from Testbourne Community School.

Staff from the town’s Co-op store gave out chocolates to children, while adults took advantage of the shops opening late into the evening.

A Christmas craft fair was also held in The Gill Nethercott Centre and refreshments were available from the Silk Mill, where lanterns lined the bank of the Rivert Test.

Cllr Day said: “It was a really successful event. It was very festive and the rain held off, thank goodness. I’m so pleased with the lights and there was a big crowd.”