CHRISTMAS joy spread through the streets of Ellesmere as hundreds of people gathered to enjoy the annual Ellesmere Winter Festival last Friday evening.

The event was full with all things festive – Christmas markets, Santa’s Grotto including his elves, the Tree of Light switch-on, carols from local schools on Market Square, mulled wine, mince pies and hot food stalls.

Just after the exciting arrival of Father Christmas by narrowboat the evening continued with a Santa parade through the town with the magical Fizztastical Fizzgigs Lantern Parade and a street band.

Local businesses including BabyCakes, A Mere Cycle, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Ellesmere Library and Swanmere Day Centre took to their stalls to join in on the Christmas fun and sell their treats.

The Tree of Light was supplied by Winston Farm and the festival was sponsored by the Red Lion Hotel, Ismays, Mereside Farm, Meze Greek restaurant and Shropshire Door Canopies.

Steve Jones from Winston Farm said: “It was a fantastic evening, we were very proud to support the event and thought the organisers did a wonderful job.”

Late night shopping in Ellesmere will continue over the Christmas period.