THE cold is unlikely to deter the people of Ilfracombe as they head out on to the streets on Wednesday to celebrate the annual switching on of the town’s Christmas lights.

The ceremony at the square by the war memorial will take place at 7pm from atop an open double decked bus, with a short service led by the Reverend Robert Harris, with carols by Ilfracombe Parish Church Choir. A lantern lit procession of schoolchildren will make their way down Marlborough Road to the square at 6.30, led by Town Crier Roy Goodwin.

The switch on itself will be conducted by North Devon radio personalities Hopps and Chapple, before the bus, Santa’s sleigh and plenty of festive characters will lead the way to the High Street for a spot of late night shopping as well as games, stalls and refreshments.

The Ilfracombe Centre in the High Street will be open from 7pm, with free mulled wine, mince pies and the opportunity to chat to your local Ilfracombe Town Councillors.

The centre will also be selling the new Ilfracombe 2011 calendar, packed with stunning scenic photographs of the town and its surroundings.