THE annual Penarth Christmas Tree Festival enjoyed dazzling sunshine to take the edge off the cold air for the twelfth installment of the popular event on Saturday (December 8).
More than 2000 visitors enjoyed a "riot of colours" with 45 decorated trees on display in the side isles of St Augustine's over the weekend.
Breakfast with Santa kicked off proceedings in Albert Road Church Hall, before the usual procession of families and children, led by the town piper, Archie McCaffer, the town's Deputy Mayor, Councillor Neil Thomas, and Father Christmas himself, made its way up through Belle View Park.
Cllr Thomas was handed the honour of cutting the crimson ribbon on the church steps.
With the festival offically open, local choirs, soloists, instrumentalists, the Salvation Army Band from Penarth Citadel, and organists, all played and sung at different times as the crowds walked around.
While snacks of hot and cold drinks, filled rolls and home made minces pies each added to the enjoyment of the occasion.
The festival ended on Sunday evening with an Advent Carol Service led by the church choir, alongside members of Cardiff University Music Department conducted by Robert Court at the organ.
One of the event co-ordinator's Nic Morgan said they had seldom seen so many inventive trees.
"Each-one was different and ingenious, traditional but arresting and thought provoking," they said. "Every one mounted on platforms, each one lit up; they made for quite a sight."
The chosen charities - namely the Tree of Hope (UK Children's Charity), The Mothers Union Llandaff, Diocese Branch Holiday Caravan for disadvantaged families, and Malarch Pooncholai Children's Trust India - will each receive £700 towards their planned operations for the New Year.
Results of the Competition:
The Group Category award
Gold - Parish Catering Team
Silver - Vale Railways
Bronze - Penarth and District Quilters
The Family and Individual award
Gold - Mrs Hoare and Charlotte
Silver - Val Baker and Sue Plenty
Bronze - Alan and Gloria Gill
The Business Category award
Gold - Ty Gwyn Care Home
Silver - Performing Arts Academy
Bronze - Smash the Fat
The Organisation Category award
Gold - Friends of Llandough WI
Silver - Sully WI
Bronze - The Soroptimists
The Charities Category award
Gold - Muscular Dystrophy Campaign
Silver - Ty Hafan
Bronze - The Lesotho Trust
The Children's Category award
Gold - Evenlode School
Silver - TOTS
Bronze - Llandough Primary School
The winner of the people's vote
Evenlode Primary School