THIS year's Largs Yuletide will be free for everyone as exciting new plans for the event were revealed.

We can also reveal that one of the main shopping areas in the town - Aitken Street - will be closed to traffic for the first time ever on the big night.

Largs Events have successfully applied for a road closure order which means that one of Largs' main thoroughfares will be traffic-free on the evening of December 4, while Tron Place will also be closed.

We reported earlier this month that the popular late night festive shopping event had been saved after a last-ditch plea by organisers resulted in an influx of new blood to the boost the volunteer numbers behind the spectacular.

Chairman Ian Murdoch said: "We are working very hard to finalise a programme which will be a socially-inclusive community event.

"We hope to provide everything free of charge, including Santa's Grotto which will be happening once more at Nardini's.

"With the road closure at Aitken Street and the snow globe at Gallowgate Square it means that there will now be entertainment all the way through the town centre.

"The new plans mean the top end of the town will be free of traffic and means everyone can get involved."

Revellers can look forward to street entertainment, including Scotland's top balloon crafter, a fire juggler and magicians - and it will all be free.

Mr Murdoch added: "The only thing which may be charged for are fairground rides, which are private enterprises. We are working to see if we can bring them back this year.

"There will be a parade from Morrisons to Nardini's. The grotto was very popular in this location last year and we are delighted to be able to bring it back.

"Our secretary Rosemary Giovino has again secured sponsorship from Dawn Homes for the snow globe, which proved so popular last year.

"There will be street entertainment, a treasure hunt, community stalls, stages and much more. It promises to be a fabulous night."

It is also hoped to have a best dressed shop window competition, while the popular children's mascots will also be returning as part of the treasure hunt.

Mr Murdoch did warn though that money needs to be found to safeguard Yuletide's long-term future.

He said: "Largs Events has charitable status and we will have to start collecting donations throughout the year in order to finance future events. There will be collection buckets available throughout the town on Yuletide and we would very much appreciate it if you are able to support the committee if you are able to do so."

The committee are currently approaching local businesses for sponsorship and donations for 2019.

Any community organisations or individuals that would like to take part can contact the group on 07944 722 027 or through the Largs Events' Facebook page.

Mr Murdoch says he has been delighted by the positive response from locals after it looked like the event was set for the axe.

He said: "The plea for support and new members was heard loud and clear. People stepped up and now we can get on with putting on a great evening."