UPTON-upon-Severn is pulling out all the stops to make Christmas bigger and better than ever before.

The town is spending £25,000 to ensure that the town sparkles over the festive season with new state-of-the art lights and a huge Christmas tree on the riverside.

Upton Town Council has committed the cash from its reserves but will be receiving donations from Upton Tourism and Trade Association (UTTA), which initiated the scheme, to offset some of the cost.

The new multi-coloured LED lights will be put up in High Street, New Street, Court Street, Old Street and along the Waterfront in time for the town’s Christmas Extravaganza, whichis being organised by UTTA, on Saturday, November 24.

It is shaping up to be the most ambitious festive event ever staged in Upton, with attractions including a Christmas farmer’s market, a live nativity procession featuring sheep and donkeys, carolling under the tree and even a temporary ice rink on the public car park in Old Street.

Annette Keyworth, chairman of UTTA, hopes the extravaganza will establish itself as one of the biggest and best in the county, attracting crowds of visitors to the town.

“We are doing this for the community,” she said. “First, to give something back to Upton people and give them an event they can enjoy and be proud of, and also to support the traders we have here already and hopefully attract new ones into the town.”

Mrs Keyworth said the inspiration for stepping up Christmas celebrations came from the success of a Diamond Jubilee party organised by UTTA this summer.

“Afterwards everyone kept asking us what was going to be next and that was a major factor in us looking to go bigger and better,” she said.

“All the traders in town offered fantastic support to make the jubilee such a success and we really hope they will get on board with this as well.”

The decision to purchase the lights was taken by the town council’s hall, finance and general purposes committee.

UTTA will be committing £3,000 this year and hopes to donate the same amount again in 2013.