THE festive lights will go on in a country town to launch its annual Christmas Markets at 3pm on December 7.

Ribble Valley Mayor Stella Brunskill will flick the switch in Clitheroe to music from Swing Commanders front man Peter Riley before a visit by Father Christmas.

This year's markets are on the consecutive Saturdays of December 7, 14 and 21.

Among its culinary attractions are award-winning savoury pies from 'The Queen of Cossack Cuisine’ Leeza Murina.

Her chicken, cranberry and walnut piroshki bake was recently named Christmas Savoury Pie of the Year by British Baker Magazine.

On the drinks front Meanwhile Bowland-based Goosnargh Gin, will bring their gold-award-winning signature tipple to the event.

The markets will feature over 40 food, drink and gift producers, including the Ribble Valley Gin Company, the hand-poured soy natural candles of both Blenheim Candles and Matty’s Candles, and the vegan skincare and makeup of brand Tropic.

Northern Star at the nearby Platform Gallery will host a craft market with 50 local artists offering a large selection of unique, handmade items, including ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, pewter and woodwork.They include former Clitheroe Grammar School pupil and pewtersmith Ella McIntosh and Helmshore textile designer Claire Williams.

Free parking is on offer for shoppers from 9.30am on all three Saturdays at three Ribble Valley Council car parks in Clitheroe: Lowergate, Market and Railway View.