School children at Poulner School in Ringwood had a special treat this week when Roger the Ringwood Reindeer came to their school to promote the Christmas Lights Switch On which will take place next week.

Roger was accompanied by an Elf who is one of 16 Elves that will be entertaining crowds on Saturday 6th December.

Giving out free sweets on the day, the Elves will be encouraging children to take part in the free Elves workshop in The Meeting House and to later take part in the Lantern Parade which starts at 5.30pm.

Organiser Mandy Oldfield said ‘we have booked in lots of stalls and entertainment for the day and this is very much a family event, I think the children are going to be thrilled when they see Santa’s Grotto and get covered in snow from the snow machines.

This will be the first Switch On for some time in Ringwood and local businesses have played a crucial role in helping fund the event along with the National Lottery and Town Council. With the town centre closed to traffic organisers hope most local people will walk into town but there is free parking the whole day as part of the national ‘Support Local Business Day’.

Town Mayor Councillor Barbara Woodifield said ‘We have had a fantastic response from local business and local people and I hope this event will encourage even more people to get involved in the future’.

All the Christmas lights have been replaced or improved and Christmas trees will be placed in the Market Place and Gateway as part of the coverage. The Mayor will switch on the lights at 6pm and the Ringwood Rock Choir will lead the crowd with Christmas carols sung by around 70 of its members.