PUDSEY Bear will be returning to North Yorkshire to help herald the start of the Christmas period.

Selby Town Council has organised a Christmas craft fair at the town hall on Thursday, November 29, with hand-made crafts and gifts between 6pm and 9pm.

Then, on Saturday, December 1, Pudsey will be helping with the Christmas lights official switch on. The celebration starts with a Christmas market, from 9am to 5pm, including choirs and bands, with contributions from the Abbey Belles, and the Rock Choir singing between 4pm and 5pm.

Gill Bell, town council markets manager, said: “It will be without question the best start to Christmas Selby has seen for some time.

“We are responding to public demand for more specialised, markets in Selby.”

Councillor Steve Shaw-Wright, town council leader, said: “It will be a traditional way to start the Christmas season.

“With all the excitement of the light switch-on, mulled wine, mince pies and pleasant company of family and friends, and we will be remembering those less well off than ourselves, so it is fitting that the well-known fundraiser Pudsey Bear will be helping with the switch on.”

In Harrogate, 131 traders will take part in the Christmas Market from today to Sunday, with Santa and live reindeer on display from Friday.

The market will be in St Mary’s Walk and a shuttle bus will operate every 20 minutes between the Christmas Market, bus and rail stations, and town centre shops.