PEOPLE lined the streets with a smile this weekend as Santa and his sleigh came to Leigh.

Getting residents into the Christmas spirit, Leigh kicked off the start of Wigan Council's 'Frost Festival' this weekend.

Festive markets took up space in the town centre on Saturday, November 19, while live entertainment, fun fair rides, a lantern parade, and the Christmas light switch also took place. 

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Leigh Journal: There was smiles all round as Santa made his way through Leigh town centreThere was smiles all round as Santa made his way through Leigh town centre (Image: Daniel O'Rourke)

The festivities continued the following day with more festive markets on offer in Spinning Gate shopping centre, with Santa and his reindeers also making their appearance in the town centre.

With people of all ages coming to celebrate the occasion, Santa rode his sleigh to smiles and cheers down Bradshawgate and through the town centre.

Leigh Journal: Santa with the Mayor in Spinning Gate Shopping CentreSanta with the Mayor in Spinning Gate Shopping Centre (Image: Wigan Council)

Following the events in Leigh, 'Frost Fest' will continue in the run-up to Christmas, with markets and light switch-ons planned in other areas of the borough.

In Wigan, there was also the return of the Light Night Trail with a whopping 8,000 people signing up to see the dazzling lights and murals along Wigan Pier and Trencherfield Mill.

Leigh Journal: The Lantern Parade on Saturday nightThe Lantern Parade on Saturday night (Image: Lee Robert McStein)

The ‘Magic Carpet’ from acclaimed artist Zarah Hussain that dominated the side of Wigan Pier was a stand out feature, whose Geometric Light exhibition is currently on show at Leigh Turnpike Gallery.

Another highlight of the light trail was Mick Stephenson’s canal boat-inspired masterpiece that featured children’s artwork from across the region, which took a huge six months to put together.

The council hope that these cultural events, alongside their Christmas lights switch ons, will bring residents into the borough's town centre's to celebrate the festivities together.

Leigh Journal: The Light Night trail at Wigan PierThe Light Night trail at Wigan Pier (Image: Turnpike Gallery)

Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, said: “We got so much reaction from the public last year that we wanted to bring it back bigger and better. It is a combination of working with all our community groups, our artists and this is part of our cultural strategy.

“The lights mean Christmas is almost here and I would like to thank all our volunteers and cultural section who do make a difference and make this such a success.

"With it being November people are getting ready for Christmas, lights mean Christmas, and naturally it was embraced by the people of Wigan and Leigh.

“I think people need a bit of cheering up nowadays with everything going on in the world and the politics at a national level. They need a distraction and something they can laugh and smile about with their families.”

To find out more about Wigan Council's 'Frost Festival', you can visit their website here.