THE festive season gets under way in Redruth on Saturday with the official launch of the town's Christmas celebrations.
At 12.30pm, the Mayor of Redruth, Judy Davidson, MBE will open the doors to the free Christmas grotto, in the former Boots' store in Fore Street.
The shop has been transformed into a magical wonderland of gifts and toys.
The grotto includes professional actors playing the parts of Father Christmas and his elf, and there are displays of Meccano trains and model toys, courtesy of the Moseley Toy Museum and the Cornwall branch of the Hornby Railway Collectors' Association.
It will be open on all the Saturdays in the run-up to Christmas, from 10am to 4.30pm.
At 5pm this Saturday, Pirate FM will broadcast a countdown to announce the start of the children's Christmas procession through the main street, which has been decorated with Christmas trees and festive lights.
In addition, as a pilot project, several shop windows have been decorated with angels made by local young people.
Local artists Bec Applebee and Kate Beesley have been working with about 200 schoolchildren and young members of the community who will walk up through the town from the bottom of Fore Street to the very top and back down again with their festive artwork lighting up the night sky.
Once the procession has returned to St Rumon's Gardens, the Ingleheart Singers will perform while everyone is invited to meet Father Christmas who will be ready and waiting underneath the statue of a miner with a sack full of free special Christmas gifts.
For one night only, the majority of shops in the town will be staying open until 7.30pm providing the perfect opportunity for a spot of Christmas shopping.
Elisa McLeod, from the Redruth Christmas Events Group, said: "Once the celebrations are under way there will be a wealth of free entertainment to enjoy throughout the Christmas period, including children's rides, festive shop window displays, choir concerts, children's workshops, coffee mornings, carol singing and Krowji Christmas Open Studios.
"For details simply pick up a free events diary from any shop in Redruth or visit www.visitredruth.co.uk
She thanked Redruth Town Council for continuing funding of the events, and many volunteers and sponsors.