EVEN rain could not ruin the parade at Holmfirth when screen star Burt Kwouk switched on the town's Christmas lights.
Manchester-born Mr Kwouk, 73, is best known for his roles in the six Pink Panther films during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
He played Cato, the excitable oriental sidekick who staged comical surprise attacks on his boss, bungling detective Inspector Clouseau, played by Peter Sellers.
Since January this year, Mr Kwouk has featured in Last of the Summer Wine playing Entwistle, a Chinese electrical handyman from Hull.
Mr Kwouk arrived at 1.30pm to tour the town before the Christmas lights ceremony, organised by Holme Valley Business Association.
In the run up to the big switch-on, a fun fair was staged on Garside Estate, Santa arrived at Holmfirth Mills and Honley Majorettes performed in the church yard.
There was also a children's art competition in the church, run by Holme Valley Business Association.
About 200 children designed Christmas-themed postcards in the style of legendary funny Bamforths postcards, made in Holmfirth until the 1980s.
The cards were judged by Derek Bamforth, grandson of the postcard and film firm's founder James Bamforth.
Prizes for the winners will be presented in January.
Visitors also got chance to have their picture taken in the style of a Bamforths postcard.
A shop window display contest was judged by chairman of Holme Valley Parish Council, Clr Diane Hall.
At 5pm the heavens opened on a parade which wound its way from the fire station to the Post Office.
Hade Edge Band led the parade, which included Honley Majorettes and members of the Holmfirth-based Turn Again Theatre Company.
Santa's sleigh followed behind along with Tetley shire horses pulling a carriage containing Mr Kwouk, Clr Hall and her husband, parish church representative Graham Smith and Royston Rogers, who acted as president of the Holme Valley Business Association for the day.
He resigned from the full-time role recently.
Mr Kwouk switched on the lights 10 minutes early, due to the weather, and kept the crowd amused while technical difficulties with the display were resolved.
A Christmas wreath was then presented to Mr Smith for the parish church, and Clr Hall presented a shield to the Tourist Information Office, winner of the shop window display contest.
Clr Donald Firth, representing the Kirklees Council Holme Valley area committee, was thanked for a £5,500 grant from the committee which had helped improve the lights.
Mr Rogers said that, along with generous donations from local firms, organisations and residents meant 22 new features could be added to the display this year.
He said the event had been successful, despite the hitches.
He said: "Burt Kwouk was brilliant. We had a few hiccups but it was an excellent response from the public. We would like to thank everyone who helped."