FATHER Christmas drew huge crowds out onto the streets to follow his parade despite bitter temperatures in Wrexham town centre.

More than 1,500 residents, young and old, braved freezing conditions to catch a glimpse of their festive friend.

Santa’s sleigh, pulled by real snow dogs, arrived in style at his grotto on Queen’s Square laden down with presents for the boys and girls who eagerly queued up to meet the man of the moment.

Visitors were treated to fairground rides for the little ones, magical music and entertainment provided by a whole host of pantomine characters from Cinderella, Mr Blobby and a giant ten pin bowling pin.

The Christmas Village was also officially opened and its wooden cabins which sold a variety of stocking fillers, crafts and tasty food, were a feast for the eyes and stomachs.

The village will only be open until Saturday but Santa has bedded down for the month and will be awaiting guests every day right up until Christmas Eve.

Kay Rickard, event organiser at Wrexham Council’s economic development department, hailed the event a huge success.

She said: “Santa’s arrival in Wrexham is always very popular, but this year was truly spectacular, especially when you take the weather into consideration.

“All the children were really excited to see Santa and I’m sure he’s going to have a busy few weeks on Queen’s Square.

“The Grotto looks fantastic and I would like to thank this year’s sponsors, Paveaways, who have helped to put it together.”

Santa’s grotto is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-5pm, Sundays 11am-4pm and Christmas Eve 10am-noon.

For more information contact Wrexham Council events team on 01978 292537 or Wrexham Tourist Information Centre on 01978 292015.