HUNDREDS of shoppers turned out for one of the most eagerly awaited events of the festive period as Father Christmas and his sleigh toured Windsor town centre after a spectacular entrance from Windsor castle.

Pulled by two reindeer and accompanied by three others, Father Christmas was joined on his sleigh around the royal town by his elves and soldiers, all children from Eton Wick Primary School, as shoppers and tourists lined the route.

With the Egham Band leading the way, the sleigh made its way from the castle's advance gate down St Albans Street, Park Steet, and into High Street, then made a stop outside Marks and Spencer in Peascod Street before turning into Windsor Yards where Father Christmas and his little helpers pulled up in his grotto outside Daniel department store.

Children and parents lined up outside ready to have their pictures taken with the annual festive present bringer and were in good spirits as hymns and Christmas songs chimed out.

Margaret Tagg, of parade organisers Windsor Yards, said: "It was magical."

Full story and picture spread in this week's Royal Borough and Slough Observer newspapers, just 60p.