Santa has come early to Bradford on Avon this year, after volunteers came together to paint 80 replicas of the world’s most generous man at St Margaret’s Hall.

The army of Santas was given a new coat of paint in preparation for the town’s lights switch-on, on Tuesday, November 27, when Bradford on Avon’s Festival of Christmas also begins.

Throughout the festive period, the Santas and their reindeer, plus the odd snowman, will be seen across the town, helping to make it a merrier place.

Julie Cooper, one of the managers of Bradford on Avon Tourist Information Centre, said: “We had lots of people come forward and get into the festive spirit, painting and repairing the Santas. “Bradford on Avon has already had a glittering year, with the addition of the gold post box, honouring Ed McKeever’s Olympic gold medal, so we need to make sure our Festival of Christmas has an extra sparkle.”

Festival organisers hope to have a celebrity guest to switch on the lights and have a variety of activities lined up for visitors during the festive period.

A Santa trail will be on offer, retail chalets will be around the town and Santa’s grotto will be built in The Teapot. There will also be music performances during December and into 2013.

Mrs Cooper said: “The great events and activities will improve footfall in the town and we are looking forward to all the long planning coming to fruition.”

The festival is being organised by Bradford on Avon Tourism Association, the town council, the chamber of commerce and Bradford on Avon’s retailers.

One of the highlights will be a party at St Margaret’s Hall on December 14, where the whole community is being urged to celebrate. For details, call 01225 865797 or email