Christmas has officially arrived in Dorset as towns switch-on their Christmas lights.

The atmosphere was ‘electric’ in both Weymouth and Brewery Square in Dorchester as the Christmas lights were officially switched on – marking a beginning to the festive season.

Over in Dorchester, mayor, Alistair Chisolm was in charge of the big light-up.

He said: “When we think what was here before, it was an empty brewery. It has been revitalised and re charged and is looking absolutely splendid and has attracted lots and lots of people tonight.

“The atmosphere is electric, there’s a lovely Christmas tree here and we are going to have some fun.”

Dorset Echo: Dorchester mayor: Alistair ChisolmDorchester mayor: Alistair Chisolm (Image: Hollie Carr)

The Dodds family were amongst the massive crowds of people all congregated in the square to watch the exciting event. They said: “We have never been before, it’s lovely. There’s a lovely Christmas feel.”

Dorset Echo: The Dodds familyThe Dodds family (Image: Hollie Carr)

Visitors ‘couldn’t believe how many people had shown up’ to the switch-on.

As the square was illuminated, a bang of flames and fireworks shot into the air, dramatically marking the occasion.

Dorset Echo: The lights went on with a BANGThe lights went on with a BANG (Image: Hollie Carr)

There was also entertainment as elves on stilts made balloon art for kids and Princess Elsa and Paddington Bear even made guest appearances.

Dorset Echo: Elves creating balloon artElves creating balloon art (Image: Hollie Carr)

In true Christmas spirit, there were also rather large queues for the mulled wine stand.

Dorset Echo: Mulled wineMulled wine (Image: Hollie Carr)

Over in Weymouth, the town were throwing their own Christmas party ahead of the big light-up.

Massive crowds trailed down New Bond Street in anticipation of the big event.

Dorset Echo: Weymouth crowdsWeymouth crowds (Image: Cristiano Magaglio)

Weymouth mayor Cllr Kate Wheller led the official countdown on stage, accompanied by the cast of this year’s Christmas pantomime.

Dorset Echo: Actors from the Weymouth Panto, which will be Snow White this yearActors from the Weymouth Panto, which will be Snow White this year (Image: Cristiano Magaglio)

As soon as the countdown was over, Weymouth was illuminated and Mariah Carey’s, All I Want For Christmas Is You sounded out across the speakers.

Dorset Echo: Weymouth Christmas light switch-on 2023Weymouth Christmas light switch-on 2023 (Image: Cristiano Magaglio)

This followed a whole day of Christmas themed events for Weymouth which all kicked off with a big elf parade through the streets.

One visitor said: “The atmosphere has been great in town today.”

It may only be November but there was definitely high levels of festive spirit in both towns with people of all ages excited for Christmas this year.

Check out all the photos in our interactive gallery.