CHRISTMAS returns to Poole Quay this Sunday (Dec 6) with a range of festive fun including a visit from Santa.

The waterfront will be buzzing with the sights, sounds and smells of a special Christmas celebration from 4.45pm, including the magical Flotilla of Lights.

There will be traditional carols and seasonal snow, competitions and goodies for sale, sponsored by Jenkins Marine.

Organised by the Jolly Sailor and supported by Poole Tourism, the event has children's rides and traditional games while children can join Jamie Jigsaw's workshop to learn circus skills and create their own star or flaming wand on the free craft stall.

Santa will join the crowds at 6.15pm and to visit him for free, collect a token from Poole Museum from 4pm on the night or on the quay during the event, with the first 250 children aged 10 and under receiving a free chocolate treat.

The popular Flotilla of Lights, organised by Poole Harbour Commissioners, will light up the quayside as the decorated boats parade in their festive finery, vying for the Jenkins Marine Trophy awarded to the best dressed boats.

"We love being involved in Christmas on the Quay and it is fantastic to see families out enjoying traditional games and crafts," said Rod Jenkins from Jenkins Marine.

"The Flotilla of Light is really special, the boats look fantastic on the water and Santa's told me it is one of his favourite events all year."

Street entertainers will delight the crowds and letters to Santa can be posted in a special postbox in the Tourist Information Centre at Poole Museum. Letters should be sent to Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ on a stamped envelope, including full name and address so he can respond to as many letters as possible. They must be posted by December 6.

Poole Museum has a Victorian-themed late night opening with mince pies and mulled wine in the café, carol singing and Christmas card making, from 4pm to 7pm.

The event is supported by the Jolly Sailor, Poole Harbour Commissioners, Wave 105, The Daily Echo, Poole Museum and Poole Tourism.