A cheering crowd stood on the quayside in St Ives on Saturday morning to welcome Santa Claus and Frosty the chief snowman, to town.

Father Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANTFather Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANT

Santa and Frosty, who arrived in the town by boat, were met by the mayor, Councillor Philip Pope and were escorted by a herd of reindeer in kayaks, courtesy of the 2nd St Ives Sea Scouts and the Huntingdon Canoe Club.

The group led by town crier, Tom Crichton, then went on a walkabout of the town to inspect the snowmen in the shops, part of the town’s Snowman Festival, before Santa took up his place in a grotto at the St Ives Corn Exchange.

The event, organised by FESt, included a family day called Frozen at the Norris Museum when children were able to discover how in the past the River Great Ouse would freeze over and people would take to the ice to race and play games such as ice hockey. The Snowman Festival continues throughout December.

“The trail of snowman around town is proving to be hugely popular and it’s great to see families enjoying our festive shop windows and seeing what St Ives has to offer,” said Gilly Jackson from FESt.

Father Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANTFather Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANT

Santa will be in his grotto on the weekends of December 9-10 and 16-17, from midday till 3pm and there is also an ArtFESt exhibition, which includes art and photography as well as jewellery and gifts.

Father Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANTFather Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANT

Father Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANTFather Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANT

Father Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANTFather Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANT

Father Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANTFather Christmas arrives in St Ives as the town's festive celebrations get under way. Picture: ARCHANT