CROWDS gathered in Ellesmere Port on the night of Thursday, November 14, for the annual Christmas lights switch-on.

And there was a surprise cameo from performers at the Circus of Horrors, who were on show at the Civic Hall later that evening. They provided a little taster of their spectacularly acrobatic skills, as part of the group's 25th anniversary tour.

The Christmas lights were switched on by Mayor of Ellesmere Port Michael Edwardson, helped by Father Christmas and the Queen of Light puppet.

Activities during the evening included 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.

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

Ellesmere Port will now 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.

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