THE Ilminster Christmas Festival is now two weeks away.

A full programme for the event taking place on Friday, November 24 is now available.

The lights will be switched on at 7pm, on the stage on the west side of The Market Square the MC DJ Ginge, will be joined by the High Sheriff of Somerset & James Purefoy who will have the honour of pressing the plunger.

Preceding this the Ilminster Diamonds Majorettes will lead a procession from West Street along Silver Street, through the square, and up through East Street.

Following the Majorettes will be the Town Crier, Father Christmas, and Herne View School pupils with hand-made lanterns.

Up through East Street will be a range of food, drink, and games stalls, so something for all the family.

The town centre will close to traffic from 5pm, when entertainment and refreshments will be available, there will be live music as well as the MCF puppet show.

Throughout the afternoon and evening, St Mary's Parish Hall (top of North Street) will be full of stalls in the Christmas Fayre which will run from 1.30pm.

Tea/coffee and refreshments will be served.

Chard & Ilminster News: A photo from last yearA photo from last year (Image: Newsquest)

From 1.30pm the Market Square will see the return of School Choirs to perform: South Petherton 1:30pm Hambridge 2pm Herne View 2.30pm Three Saints 4pm Neroche 4.30pm (Timings subject to change)

A spokesperson for the Christmas lights group said: “The Ilminster Christmas Lights have made a considerable investment in the improvements and additions to this year's displays, which we hope you will appreciate as we strive to continue to improve our town's lights to keep them as one of the best displays in Somerset.

“Again this year we have looked to make the whole town more energy efficient by upgrading LED.

“There is also the return of the Market Square Christmas tree after 20 years this year, which will be on the east side of the square.

“We will have collectors out on the night so please bring your cash. We also have a QR code on the posters which will enable you to donate online.

“The Ilminster lights rely on charitable donations and sponsors to keep Ilminster shining, so please give generously.

“We also have our regular Bolt testing requirement to take place next year, which is an expensive but vital part of the lights.

The Christmas Festival is organised by Ilminster Chamber Of Commerce & Ilminster Christmas Lights, while being supported by Ilminster Town Council.

“The lights are all maintained and erected my a small team of volunteers, who are always looking for extra help, if you are interested please email:”