ANIMATED favourites the Minions brought festive cheer to Stourbridge when they played their part in the town's Christmas lights switch on.

Thousands of people turned out to the day-long celebratory event in the town centre on Saturday November 30 which included a Christmas market throughout the High Street, plus fairground rides and a land train.

Popular animated characters the Minions kept children entertained as they paraded around the town centre and there were also performances by Stourbridge Dance Academy, Got 2 Sing Choir, Show Call Academy of Performing Arts, Centre Stage Dance Academy, Saxual Emotion and V4.

Soloists Issy Winstanley, Holly-Mayy, Eliza May and Emma Pryce also entertained.

Black Country Radio played festive tunes by the Ryemarket throughout the day, while DJ Porky entertained on the main stage.

Santa was in his grotto in the Ryemarket and BBC WM presenter Caroline Martin turned on the lights with help from the Minions and winner of the Facebook Christmas lights competition Ashley Knott, aged five.

The Mayor of Dudley, Councillor David Stanley, also attended earlier in the day and he said the event had been "really enjoyable" - adding: "The Christmas market added such a festive air to the town and it was lovely to see the children’s faces whenever they saw the Minions.

"We were really lucky to have such a talented range of performers who helped to make the day so special and I hope it will encourage people to shop locally and enjoy all that Stourbridge has to offer."

Ryemarket centre manager Kelley Dyas said it was a "fantastic" event and she added: “It was great to see the children’s faces light up when they saw Santa in his grotto and also get the chance to meet the Minions.

“It’s always a lovely day and so well attended by the local community.”