HELMSLEY enjoyed a weekend of festive activities.

Events got under way on Friday with the Christmas tree lights switch on and the opening of the Christmas Tree Festival, followed the next day by the town’s annual Small Business Saturday Festive Fun Day.

Swinton Brass Band and Helmsley Town Crier marked the switch on of the town’s lights, before visitors processed up to the church for the preview evening of the Christmas Tree Festival.

This year, 26 decorated trees on the theme of “The Best of Helmsley” are on display in the All Saints Church daily until December 16.

Small Business Saturday saw the Helmsley in Business group take over the town, with a giant snow globe, bouncy castle, Santa’s Grotto, games, competitions, workshops and refreshments.

Six-and-a-half feet tall Nutcrackers invaded the town, with visitors challenged to find them. Music, entertainment, and even a visit from the Panto Dame, helped make the day a real festive treat for all.

The Nutcracker Trail is open until December 16, with 30 miniature nutcrackers hiding in businesses around town.

Katie Atkinson, deputy chairman of Helmsley in Business and owner of KVA Planning, said: “We always love to get behind the concept of Small Business Saturday, supporting all the wonderful independent businesses in Helmsley, and this year’s was bigger and better than ever.

“Thank you to all the businesses and organisations who got involved, and all the visitors and local residents who came along and joined in the fun.

“It was also fantastic to have a town tree again, thanks to Libby Butler Jewellers.

“There’s still plenty of opportunity for people to get in to the Christmas spirit.

“It’s a great opportunity to come along and support all the local businesses who make the town so unique and vibrant, as well as enjoying the festivities.”

For more information about events taking place in Helmsley, go to visithelmsley.co.uk