SLEIGH bells ring, are you listening? Christmas is almost here again – and what better way to start the festive season than with a trip to Ammanford?

The switch-on of the town lights marks the traditional start of the run-up to the big day and there is plenty going on in Ammanford to make this Christmas truly magical and the biggest and best ever.

Ammanford Town Council has worked alongside several partnership groups to once again bring a show-stopping festive event to the town centre.

Choirs, carols, fireworks, decorations and a giant Christmas cracker pull will all be part of the town’s annual celebrations to fill the air with festive spirit.

The official Christmas lights switch-on will take place on Saturday, November 18.

From 10am, Quay Street will be bustling with market stalls packed with handmade gifts and tasty treats.

From glitter tattoos and gift sets to roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, there will be plenty to see and do at the busy market during the morning of the main event.

This year, a local artist will be encouraging residents to take part in Christmas pebble painting – a perfect handmade Christmas gift to give to a loved one.

The children’s funfair will be in action from 10am and is guaranteed to give visitors to the town a big thrill.

Santa’s elves will be working hard to set up a grotto inside Oh La La on Quay Street and children will be able to visit Santa from 2pm until 8pm.

Entrance into the grotto is £2, which will include a gift on behalf of Ammanford Town Council.

Menter Bro Dinefwr have gathered a few familiar faces to entertain the crowds with live entertainment from 2pm.

Performers from Ammanford-based stage school Encore will take to the stage from 2pm until 2.30pm, Dawnswyr Penrhyd take over proceedings from 2.30pm until 3pm and children’s TV star Martin Geraint will be getting everyone into the Christmas spirit from 3pm until 4pm with a festive jambori.

At 4.30pm, Ammanford Emergency Services will carry out a full re-enactment demonstration of a Road Traffic Collision at the bottom of Quay Street near Heol Wallasey.

The demonstration took place in the town earlier this year and is returning by popular demand.

The event will be live on Radio Carmarthenshire from 6pm which will feature a brand-new addition to the festivities.

The giant Christmas cracker pull will take place at 6pm in a Mexican wave style starting at the town’s Christmas Tree outside The Old Cross in Ammanford, down Quay Street, around the monument and back up to the tree.

South Wales Guardian:

Hundreds of people will pull their crackers as a Radio Carmarthenshire presenter follows the wave through the busy high street live on air.

To register to be part of the Ammanford Christmas cracker pull, and to receive your free cracker, visit Eventbrite and search Ammanford Xmas Cracker.

Ammanford Town Council Community Development Officer Fiona Wilkins said: “It’s going to be a really fun way to kick off our evening celebrations.

“Make sure you bring along your free ticket to claim your free cracker to join our Christmas cracker pull.

“Why not come along and bring your friends and family to show the rest of Carmarthenshire what a great community we have here in Ammanford.

“You really don’t want to miss out.”

A road closure will be in place during the celebrations from 12pm until 9pm so plan ahead before visiting the event.

Carmarthenshire County Council have also granted free parking for the day, so why not make the most of it and join in with the festive activities and do some Christmas shopping.

Residents will gather around the spectacular town Christmas tree at 7.30pm when the town will be illuminated with Christmas lights.

Following the grand lights switch-on, Ammanford Silver Band will begin to play carols and residents will be handed carol sheets to join the choir sing along to seasonal songs.

Santa will leave his grotto at 8pm and everyone will follow him down towards Carragamman Car Park where the fireworks display will begin, and Santa will board his sleigh and take to the skies back to the North Pole.

Carragamman Car Park will be closed from 4pm, so don’t try parking there during the event.

This is sure to be the biggest and best Christmas event to date so make sure you get in the Christmas spirit by visiting Ammanford.

So whether it’s shopping or celebrating this year, Ammanford has everything you need from fine food, great gifts and plenty of good times.

With so much happening in the town, the only question left to answer is whether you have been naughty or nice? Only you and Santa can answer that.