The crowds braved the winter weather to enjoy the annual Ellesmere Christmas Winter Festival on Friday.

Visitors were able to indulge in some late night shopping, witness the Christmas lights being switched on and children got to meet Santa Claus and his reindeer.

Chamber of Commerce member Chris Scott said: “I think we can safely say that the entire event was a complete success.

“In spite of the uncertain weather the crowds turned out and were treated to a fantastic evening, in particular the stunning Lantern Parade organised by our local community group Fizzgigs. including a 30’caterpillar and a unicorn.

“The spectacular town lights and Christmas tree lights were switched on by Mayor Ryan Hartley to the accompaniment of carols sung by pupils of Ellesmere Primary School. Shops were open throughout

the evening, supplying mulled wine and mince pies.

“The star of the evening, Father Christmas, was kept busy with just a short break to feed his reindeer.

“The public was full of praise for the event, and all groups involved deserve a pat on the back. Regular visitors have said that the numbers attending far exceeded previous years.”