MORE than 20,000 people braved the winter chill to line Glasgow's streets for the city's first Christmas parade.

Families gathered on Buchan an Street yesterday afternoon as Santa's Express Train led a sparkling procession of dolls, toy soldiers, elves, fairies, princesses, and dancing Christmas trees through the city to celebrate the countdown to Christmas.

A host of superheroes, including Iron Man, Darth Vader and other Star Wars characters, along with Hamley and Hattie Bear and Barbie joined Santa and his little helpers on the route.

Scores of children, mums and dads and grandparents enjoyed the two-hour parade.

The event was part of the Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign, which highlights the city's shops and includes a programme of festive events.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "This year's Christmas offering is shaping up to be the most exciting yet with an array of attractions and events for everyone, spanning music, film, dancing, food and drink and free family entertainment against a sparkling festive backdrop."

Fernando Viera, who has worked on performances across the world, including with Cirque Du Soleil, directed the glitzy festive parade.

He said: "We wanted to give Glasgow something magical, something for the kids, the parents and the grandparents and something that is unique to the city."