VOICES young and old filled the air at Gloucester Quays with festive glee as the Victorian market got underway.
From Santa-hat clad pupils to pop song singing students and a Christian group performing a Bette Midler classic – entries in the Christmas Choir Competition certainly had the X Factor.
It was organised by Gloucester Quays and groups competed for the chance to win £500 and perform at the Festive Fair next month.
First to take to the stage was Stroud's Maidenhill School Choir, who performed Emili Sande's Read All About It and Winter Wonderland. Next was Longlevens Junior School Glee Club who sang Away in a Manger and Need a Little Christmas.
Jess Weaver's solo in O'Holy Night blew the crowd away as part of the performance by the Cotswold Group Singers and lastly was the Gloucester and District Christian Choir who sang From a Distance and Joy to the World.
Jenny Eastwood, assistant editor of The Citizen was one of the judges. She said: "Well, what can I say? They were all so fantastic. In the end we couldn't decide who was the winner so we made them all winners and Gloucester Quays decided to give them all £500."
The competition rounded off the first day of the Victorian Christmas market which saw 20 coach loads of visitors.
Another 80 buses are expected across the weekend with people taking in the Dickensian charm of the market.
Richard Rawlings, Gloucester Quays manager, said: "We have close to 120 stalls – nearly a half as many again as last year.
"It's early days, but I think we're going to smash last year's visitor record of 83,000 and I'd hope to welcome over 100,000 people this weekend."