Yesterday afternoon excited families flocked to Ellesmere’s town hall to make lanterns for the 7th year of the lantern parade, a key part of the town’s Winter Festival.

Fizzgigs, Ellesmere’s community arts group, ran the free lantern-making workshop.

Fiona Matthews, who now lives in Wrexham, brought her young family, including Macey and Jenson (aged 8). ‘It’s become part of our family tradition,’ she explained. ‘We used to live closer to the town, but come back every year for this. The Festival marks the start of our family Christmas. And it knocks the socks off the Wrexham parade!’ she added. ‘Jenson was super-helpful, sweeping up the rubbish, too,’ said Amanda Bevan, a Fizzgigs member who helped the youngsters with their creations.

Damien Thomas from Ellesmere brought along Florence and Beatrix. ‘We’ve come to every one. They’re brilliant,’ he said.

Even town mayor Anne Wignall made a lantern, alongside adult daughter Catherine. ‘The fun isn’t all for children. We’re really looking forward to seeing our lovely town fizzing with light,’ she explained.

Lanterns were made in the shapes of stars and space rockets. ‘That might be a clue to this year’s theme,’ said Fizzgigs’ Chairman, Mirjana Garland.

The Winter Festival takes place on Friday, 24th November. The parade will begin at approximately 6.30pm.

Another free lantern making workshop will be held at Ellesmere Town Hall on Tuesday evening between 6pm and 9pm.

All materials are provided. Children of primary school age must be accompanied by an adult.

“It’s sensible to wear old clothes as you may get messy,” said Mirjana.

Beatrix, Damien and Florence Thomas.

Philippa and Evelyn Burrows.

Reuben Bailey and space rocket.

Jenson Matthews with broom.

Picture credits: Amanda Bevan.