Ryde will host a family friendly Christmas party this week - called Merry and Bright.

Taking place on Thursday, organisers are promising plenty of seasonal cheer, with lanterns, street entertainment, costumes, late night shopping and the switching on of the town's Christmas tree lights

From 5pm, watch roving entertainment in Town Square, St Thomas’s Square, Vernon Square and Minghella Square, Union Street, Cross Street, and the High Street.

Lantern displays made by schools and local groups wi11 brighten up street corners and there will an interactive display at Vernon Square and in St Thomas's churchyard.

At 5.30pm, the community lantern parade sets off from Aspire Ryde in Dover Street.

Scroll down for the full route...

RAW Samba will lead the procession, which will feature willow and tissue paper creations, made by families from Oakfield and Wootton Primary Schools.

At 7pm, the Grinch and Derek Sandy will help Ryde Town Council kick off the countdown to Christmas, in Minghella Square, by switching on the lights on the town's three Christmas trees.

Shops will stay open until 8pm and we are being challenged to spot the cheeky elf on posters in shop windows.

Anyone can play - use your smartphone to reveal a code.

Collect nine before December 12 and decipher the magic word or phrase, to enter a prize draw.

Chris Slann, Director of the New Carnival Company said: "This project has been a fantastic collaboration.

"We want the people of the town to be proud of Merry and Bright and feel it belongs to them, to nurture and grow it, to share with Islanders and visitors alike”

  • Lantern Parade route: Aspire Ryde, Dover Street (at 5:30pm) to Star Street, the High Street, bottom of Union Street, ending at about 6.15pm.