THOUSANDS turned out for Christmas festivities across Dorset at the weekend.

Christmas lights were turned on in Christchurch, Westbourne, Swanage, Wimborne and Corfe Castle on Saturday by a host of special guests including panto stars, torch bearers, local Mayors and of course Father Christmas.

Su Pollard, Chris Jarvis and Asa Elliot from Benidorm thrilled the crowds in Christchurch while in Swanage two local Olympic torchbearers helped light up the town for their yuletide ceremony.

A festive procession in Broadstone saw 30 groups including Beavers, Brownies, Scouts and local schoolchildren take part in the Christmas Parade – the biggest in its 43-year history.

Choristers from Wimborne Minster wowed residents congregated in the Square with Christmas carols accompanied by a brass band of talented school pupils from Allenbourn Middle, Cranborne Middle and Queen Elizabeth’s schools.

And in Bournemouth on Sunday, a festive parade led Father Christmas and his reindeer into the Square as part of the Bournemouth Christmas Festival.

Later on, a procession by torchlight set-off from the Square to Horseshoe Common.

See a full-round in our Christmas section: