RINGWOOD is preparing to launch its festive celebrations later this month.

The town’s 'Winter Wanderland’ will feature a series of activities to get residents excited for Christmas.

Starting on Sunday, November 26, the Wanderland aims to bring people into Ringwood town centre to see the festive lights and Christmas tree, as well as the Christmas windows, whilst supporting the town’s shops, businesses, and community organisations.

The free event, organised by Ringwood Town Council, promises to be even bigger this year with activities taking place in the Market Place, Gateway Square, the High Street, and Southampton Road.

Festivities begin at 11.30am and include a market with more than 70 stalls stretching down the High Street and Market Place.

Residents and visitors will be able to browse through arts and crafts, produce, gifts and charity stalls, and enjoy hot food, and drink including mulled wine, Yorkshire pudding wraps, bratwurst, and stone baked pizza.

A charity bar, run by the Ringwood and District Roundtable, will be positioned in the Market Place where there will also be live entertainment from 1.30pm.

There will also be a small fair, walkabout entertainment from Steamship Circus, and a performance by Ringwood and Burley Band on the High Street.

Following on from its successful run last year, a mini Polar Express will provide rides down Southampton Road, with the station located in Fridays Cross.

In Gateway Square, children can learn circus skills, and a local choir will be performing.

Santa will be in his grotto from noon in Ringwood Gateway – with tickets sold in advance from the town council offices for £5.

Santa will also appear in two parades; the first leaves the town centre car parks at 11.30am, passing the Furlong Shopping Centre and travelling through the town centre.

The second parade leaves at 5.45pm, seeing Santa arrive in the Market Place for 6pm for the all-important switching on of the Christmas Lights.

The Christmas window competition will also be returning this year, and will officially open on November 27.

There are 32 entries and members of the public are invited to travel around the town and vote for their favourite. The map will be available on the town council website.