THOUSANDS of people lined the streets to capture a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer.

The popular annual parade, organised by Armitage’s Garden Centres, delighted children young and old as they queued to see Father Christmas’ helpers.

It featured six reindeer from the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre in Aviemore, Scotland.

The animals are the only free-roaming herd in the country.

Leading the parade were motorcyclists from Huddersfield-based charity Whiteknights, who normally transport blood products between hospitals.

The parade in Shelley started at the village hall before winding along Huddersfield Road to Armitage’s Pennine Garden Centre.

Later on Saturday the route to Armitage’s Birchencliffe Garden Centre started at Lidget Street before passing down Birchencliffe Hill Road.

Jo Dales, marketing manager for the centres, said: “It went really well. In Shelley there were close to 2,000 people lining the streets and there was a lovely atmosphere.

“The Whiteknights took control at the front and made sure that everybody had a great view as well as adding to the spectacle.

“For children it’s a wonderful opportunity to see real reindeer and for us at the garden centres it opens Christmas!”

The parades led to Santa’s grotto and signalled the start of his festive residency at the centres.

The grottos are run by Kirkwood Hospice volunteers and all proceeds will be given to the charity.

Armitage’s supported the charity with its Share-A-Card competition to design Christmas cards.

The winners, Amy Jenkinson and Miles Kelly won the chance to ride in Santa’s sleigh during the parades.