Shropshire Star

Winter festival gets town in the Christmas spirit

Snow, Santa on a steam engine and stalls piled high with street food brought thousands of people to Ellesmere's winter festival.

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A train in the lantern parade

Organised by the Chamber of Commerce along with organisations and charities in the town, the late-night shopping event included a host of attractions.

There were long queues for the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round set up in the main car park while the closed roads and town market were full of stalls and street food.

Traditional Christmas music was provided by Mere Brass.

Santa arrived in the town on a narrowboat and then transferred to a working model of Stephenson's Rocket to take part in the lantern parade through the streets.

Tyler, five, and Tilly, two, Scott enjoying one of the rides

Organised by the Fizzgigs community arts group, the parade was the culmination of lantern-making workshops with children and adults making their own creations to then carry in the procession.

Geoff Corfield, a member of Ellesmere Rotary, which ran a charity bookshop at the festival and helped with the traffic control in the town, said it was a wonderful evening.

"The festival brings people together - it is true community spirit," he said.

Stephenson's Rocket in the lantern parade

The evening was also praised by Kim Rogers whose children, five-year-old Tyler and two-year-old Tilly, enjoyed the children's fairground ride.

"It's good to see people enjoying themselves," she said.

The Fizzgigs Stephenson's Rocket

Local businesses were delighted at the numbers attending the festival.

Jonathon Griffiths from TG Griffiths said: "We always enjoy the winter festival. It is a chance to meet people who may not usually come into the store. It really brings the community together."

One of the stalls was organised by Ellesmere's new food and warm clothes share project. Our Space in the town will open every Saturday morning and Tuesday afternoon from December 10 for anyone needing support.