THE countdown to Christmas is under way in Ellesmere Port as the lights switch-on takes place this Thursday.

Mayor of Ellesmere Port Michael Edwardson will be helped by Father Christmas and the Queen of Light puppet on Thursday, November 14, to switch on the Christmas lights in Ellesmere Port in the celebratory event running from 4-6pm.

Activities during the evening include the Lantern Parade and puppets, Ellesmere Port Round Table with Father Christmas and his sleigh, Brio Bear, children’s rides, stalls, food and local dance group First Footers.

The Ellesmere Port mayor said: “A very happy Christmas to Ellesmere Port. I’m really looking forward to starting the celebrations in the Port. A particular thanks to all the children who will be parading with their hand made lanterns.

“Look out for the Christmas activities over the next few weeks, including Father Christmas returning to his grotto in the market.”

Schoolchildren from local schools Christchurch, Sutton Green, St Marys of the Angels, Whitby Heath have been taking part in workshops led by artist Russell Kirk to make their own lanterns for the parade.

Ellesmere Port will be the home to Cinderella, the Christmas pantomime which runs from the December 14-24 at the Civic Hall.

The Chriska Stage School has been busy rehearsing for Anton Benson’s spellbinding pantomime production, which stars Coronation Street’s Connie Hyde and Britain’s Got Talent's Tony Rudd.

Audiences should expect to see amazing special effects including Cinderella’s flying carriage to take her to the Ball!

Tickets are available from the Civic Hall website at and are selling fast.