ELLESMERE Town Hall was transformed into a craft centre on Saturday as visitors tried their hands at lantern making.

Adults and children alike were invited to join in with the activity organised by Ellesmere-based community arts group, Fizzgigs, who were hosting the special lantern making session at the hall to get everyone involved in the town's winter parade.

The annual Winter Festival and parade will be taking place next week and the lanterns, which were made with assistance from Fizzgigs volunteers, will be carried in the group's procession during the event.

Also at the Town Hall, as part of the group's bird theme for the procession, volunteers were working hard to build a giant stork lantern out of branches and bamboo.

Volunteer Becca Moore said: "This is our stork for the winter parade.

"The stork will bring a bit of life to the town as storks symbolise life. And Fizzgigs' procession theme this year is birds.

"This free community event is just about getting everyone of the town together and involved in the Winter Festival, creating a role for everyone so they can help and not just watch the parade."

And Peter Cartlidge, another volunteer, said that the group was getting geared up for their involvement in the parade which comes with the special responsibility of transporting Father Christmas into Ellesmere.

"We transport Father Christmas every year," said Peter.

"We meet him at the canal after he arrives by canal boat, then we transport him into town on a surprise vessel!"

There will be another lantern making session on Thursday between 5pm and 8pm, also at the Town Hall.

All children of primary school age must be accompanied by an adult.

Ellesmere Winter Festival will kick off at 4pm on Friday, with the Christmas Market and Santa's Grotto.

Then from 6pm will be the Tree of Light and carols in the square. There will also be crafts and gifts, hot food stalls and late night shopping.