The festive Taunton celebration is set to return this weekend, with a market, street entertainment, amusements and of course, the Christmas light switch on.

This year, the lights will be jointly switched on by the Mayor of Taunton, Cllr Sue Lees, and two VIP guests.

Winterfest starts on Sunday, November 21, with attractions in Taunton town centre from 10am until 8pm.

In North Street, there will be a festive market with Christmas gifts and food and drink stalls. There will also be four alpine huts in Fore Street until January 8.

From noon on November 21, there will be live music and performances on show in the Parade, the High Street and North Street.

There will also be street entertainment from Naughty Christmas Elves, a light-up Snow Queen and a Nutcracker on stilts.

Amusements will include dodgems, an incredible hulk ride in Castle Green and more. There will also be a Santa's Grotto outside Taunton Visitor Centre.

The town's Christmas tree, donated by Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm and delivered by Wheelers of Bridgwater, is currently outside the Market House.

The Christmas tree and town lights will be switched on by Cllr Lees, Hannah Taunton and Mia Sienna Jarrold at 6.30pm.

Somerset County Gazette: Hannah running in Manchester race.

Paralympic medallist Hannah won bronze in the the Women's 1,500 metres T20 at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.

“I am feeling very excited about switching the Taunton Christmas lights on," she said.

"I am very proud and pleased to be asked to do this.

"I will be wearing my GB presentation kit and bronze paralympic medal for this special occasion.”

Mia, aged eight, recently won a pageant and became this year's Miss Junior Sensational UK. She has been invited to the switch-on in recognition of the charity work she has undertaken.

As well as Winterfest, Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) is offering free parking on December 4, 11 and 18 in Dulverton, Dunster, Minehead, Porlock, Watchet, Wellington and Williton. As well as December 5 in Dulverton for the Dulverton by Starlight event.

With the exception of Kilkenny car park, free parking will also be available after 3pm on the same Saturdays in council-owned car parks in Taunton.

There will also be a range of markets in Taunton in the lead up to Christmas, including eat:Taunton on November 27, Taunton Christmas Craft Fair between December 1 and 19, and Taunton Independent Market on December 5, 12, 18, and 19.

There is also a temporary Post Office in East Street where children can post letters to Santa.

As well as this, there will be a Carols Around the Bandstand event in Vivary Park on Monday, December 13.

Cllr Marcus Kravis, executive member for economic development at SWT, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled we’re able to offer a programme of festive events over the Christmas period this year, starting with the return of our annual Winterfest celebration, which had to be cancelled last year due to the restrictions.

“After what's been a very challenging couple of years, it’s really important that we continue to support the recovery of our local businesses and I wish residents and visitors a safe and welcoming experience in Taunton.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to our staff, partners, sponsors, market traders and everyone else involved for their support in helping us to arrange these events.”