VOLUNTEERS have been out in force to make sure Earlston is ready for Christmas.

The tree is up and the final preparations are being made for this year's big switch-on.

And the festivities will all kick off on Sunday, December 8 at around 5.15pm when Santa will lead a parade from the East End – accompanied by the Jed Forest Instrumental Band and youngsters carrying light sticks.

The switch-on will follow in the Square at 6pm.

This year, for the first time, there will also be a trophy presented to either the home or business with the 'Best Dressed Christmas Lights Display'.

Santa’s helpers will be out taking photos of local displays that are fully lit by December 16.

Then its up to the Lights Committee to announce the winner by Christmas Eve.

Lights organiser Ewen Thompson told us: "This is something new for Earlston and our way of celebrating 20 years lighting up the village at Christmas.

"The committee kicked off for the millennium and the displays have got bigger and brighter each year.

"The ongoing success would not be possible without the time and effort given by all the volunteers who’ve ever taken part and the local residents, businesses and groups who power the annual event through their donations."