TRADERS are set to turn a town centre shopping street into a festive wonderland.

West Blackhall Street is being transformed into West Black Ho Ho Ho Street to try and muster some extra Christmas spirit in the town and among shoppers.

The street will be closed on Thursday December 12 between 2 and 9pm and transformed into a haven of festive fun, with a cavalcade of activities.

There will be a ceilidh band, carol singers, alpacas, craft and market stalls, a visit from Santa and a host of children's favourite characters all making an appearance.

The idea is the brainchild of town centre traders who are working hard to breathe new life into Greenock's main shopping street.

Mairi Coventry, of The Wee Crafty Owl in Jamaica Street, spoke to the Tele on behalf of the retailers about the drive to bring more people into town.

She said: "We want people to come along and join in the fun. We hope that everyone will dance along to the ceilidh band, as well as saying hello to our alpacas, Peppa, Olaf, Chase, Marshall and, of course, meet Santa Claus.

"We shall also be promoting our local children and young people’s charity Dreams Come True Inverclyde so they can make more dreams happen here."

Several shopkeepers will keep their stores open until 8pm on the night and the following Thursday, December 19.

Other activities include a best-dressed Christmas shop window competition, a prize for the best-dressed residential window in West Blackhall Street and another prize for the best Christmas hat on display among those visiting the street as part of the activities.

There will be live music from local young musicians in West Bar and Kitchen, followed by an open mic session between 8 and 9pm.

Mairi said: "There will be more fun activities added as we get closer to the event iself.

"We want to encourage our community to shop locally over Christmas which will help local enterprises, many of which are family-run businesses."

For more information telephone Mairi on 648686.