THE Three Kings Parade marked the start of the festive season in Stourport on Friday, as crowds gathered for the town's biggest ever Christmas lights switch-on.

Hundreds of children from local schools joined the annual parade through the town centre, which was led by Stourport Scout and Guide Band, and students from St Bartholomew's School carried the 'Three Kings'.

For the first time, a competition was held for the 'best dressed trolley', which was won by Burlish Park Primary School.

Kidderminster X-Factor finalist Richard Ryan switched on the lights alongside Mayor or Stourport David Little, before a grand firework display ended the evening with a bang.

Stourport Carnival queen Laura Potts also joined the celebrations, alongside her attendants, princesses Gabby Evans and Rosebud Hermione Homer, senior prince Zach Savage and junior prince Harrison Bianco.

There was also a funfair in Raven Street car park and children visited Santa Claus at the Civic Hall Christmas fair.

Hundreds of pounds were raised for the Mayor of Stourport's chosen charities - St Richard's Hospice and Crohn's and Colitis UK.

Pete Roberts, from the organising committee, said: "It was the biggest Christmas lights switch-on ever. We had more than 5,000 people there so it was a great turn-out.

"I'd like to say a big thank you to the emergency services, Stourport Yacht Club, Stourport Rotary Club, Highways and Stourport Town Council for making sure the event ran smoothly."

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