INVERKIP'S close knit community were rocking around their biggest ever Christmas tree as the countdown to the big day began.

The village switch-on festivities were hailed the best yet as the lights sparkled through the rain drops.

Outside it poured of rain but inside the Inverkip Hub the celebrations were in full swing with a Christmas fair.

Councillor Ciano Rebecchi, who helped Santa switch on the lights, said: "It was a brilliant night and we managed to get outside for the switch-on. I am also happy that we have a bigger Christmas tree this year.

"It looks great."

Inverkip Primary School were in full voice with the choir belting out all the traditional festive favourites.

Cllr Rebecchi added: "We are so lucky in Inverclyde to have such brilliant musical talent in schools and committed teachers. It was great to see the pupils there."

The Inverkip Hub, which played an instrumental role in the switch on ceremony, organised by Inverclyde Council, was packed inside and out.

Bosses organised a Christmas crafts fair, with lots of local people showcasing their talents.

The family fun included a bouncy castle, gingerbread decorating, face painting, activity stalls, arts and crafts, cooking demos, food tasting and festive photos.

Ciano added: "The Inverkip Hub is a brilliant place and has really brought the community together.

"They did a great job in making the switch-on extra special."

Local parent Lesley Anne Hillier said: "It was fantastic in the hall and everyone had a great time at the switch-on."