FAMILIES turned out in force to welcome in the Christmas season as calendar pages turned to December.

Both in the city and further afield there were events staged to switch-on the thousands of festive fairy lights and illuminate high streets.

In Headington, Oxford, the crowds turned out yesterday evening for the first event of its kind for the area as The Sheriff of Oxford Mohammed Altaf-Khan did the honours.

The councillor pushed the plunger to light up more than 5000 LED lights that decorate the Christmas trees lining London Road and well as a 10m tree on the high street sponsored by Andrews Estate Agents.

The celebration also included drinks, mince pies, music by local choir Sine Nomine and street caroling accompanied by Nick Gill at the piano.

Elsewhere in the county families also enjoyed a host of festive fun for the annual Wantage Dickensian Evening held yesterday evening.

Following the tradition, the town went all out to step back in time to turn Victorian for the night.

A host of residents were dressed up in Victorian costume and enjoyed a number of festivities including music from Wantage Silver Band, carol singing, performances from the Pandemonium Folk Band plus the Icknield Way Morris Men.

Children also made the most of the Victorian Fun Fair, Punch and Judy and even Santa and his reindeer were able to take time out their busy schedule to pop along for the town's Christmas launch.