THE countdown to Christmas began on Saturday, as Milford Haven's lights were switched on.

Hundreds of people lined the streets, many with glowing paper lanterns in hand, to welcome Father Christmas to the town on December 1.

St Katharine's Stratford Players handed out glow sticks to the youngsters before the lantern parade, which brought some festive cheer to the streets before finishing at the town hall.

Once there, Neyland Ladies Choir entertained, and Radio Pembrokeshire presenter Jim Hughes was joined by mayor Cllr Rose Gray, Rev Andy Bookless and Father Christmas on the town hall balcony.

Competition winners Morgan Jones, four, Bella Davies, five, and 11-year-old Jack Bowen were first to meet Father Christmas in his new inflatable grotto.

Thanks to Milford Haven Round Table, the town's children then got to meet Santa before his busy season begins.