JUST short of 2,000 adults and children packed into Skipton High Street on Sunday for the annual Great Skipton Santa Fun Run and for the switching on of the town's Christmas lights.

Despite the cold weather, the town centre streets were turned red for the 14th annual run with 1,848 Santas running, walking and wheel-chairing the five or three km circular routes, starting from High Street and taking in Aireville Park and Skipton Woods.

After a welcome from Colin Hargreaves, president of the Rotary Club of Skipton Craven, they were treated to a lively 10-minute warm-up session by Emily Stirk, from No 45 Personal Training, before they were sent on their way.

Rotarian, Peter Ripley, lead organiser for the fun run, said: “The success of this event is due to the the hard work and commitment of my fellow organisers, to Louise Close and her team at Skipton Town Council, and to our club members, their families and friends and members of the Rotary Club of Skipton, who carry out the important role of route marshals, thereby ensuring the safety of all participants."

Louise Close, chief officer of Skipton Town Council, said: "What a day we all had on Sunday, smiling faces, laughter singing and dancing. I am passionate about the switch on event being for the community and the community never fails in supporting us, from the performers to the traders and visitors, the support was incredible, and I truly thank everyone. During these turbulent times, some heartwarming Christmas cheer is what we all needed, and I hope everyone felt that.

"From the town council team, we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and you can be assured that Santa’s elves will get working on something even better for next year so everyone can come together and do it all over again."

Mr Ripley added: "I would also like to thank our three Gold Sponsors - Fibrelite, Midgley Motors and LA Comms - plus the 16 silver and two bronze sponsors for their financial support or services in kind, all of which help us to cut down the cost of running this event; and to Rombalds Radio for their own warm-up prior to the event and Manorlands for staging the start and commentating at the finish.

It will be a month or so before we know how much has been collected for charity, so watch this space.”

Participants are invited to upload their photographs to the Great Skipton Santa Fun Run Facebook page.