THE fourth annual Giant Lantern Parade lit up the streets of Cardigan on Friday night.

A large crowd took to the streets to enjoy the colourful circus-themed parade, Llandysul Youth Samba Band, Cardigan's African Drummers, fire jugglers and of course the stunning lanterns and fireworks display.

In the run up to the event, organisers Small World Theatre and 4CG received funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and Cardigan Town Council to work with a number of community groups and schools, creating hundreds of colourful lanterns with a vintage circus theme.

Small World Theatre's giant elephant led the parade accompanied by big lanterns of all shapes and sizes; top hats, big top, circus horse, performing seal made by students at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi, trapeze artists, hot air balloon, drums, juggling balls and a magnificent dancing polar bear.

There were also Christmas themed lanterns such as Carnifal Aberteifi's beautiful stag, The Young Farmers' sleigh, cow/ barrel, several giant stars and a Christmas stocking!

This year's grant has enabled the partners to expand the reach of the parade. Data collected by Cardigan Town App showed an increase in last year's spectators with 250 first-time visitors present.

The town attracted 13,268 visitors during the day thanks to the parade, Cardigan Guildhall market's Christmas fair and local businesses.

The equivalent of more than half Cardigan's population turned out to watch, or take part in this year's spectacular event.

Ann Shrosbree, director of Small World Theatre, said: “It was a huge success with many community members in attendance. Thanks to everyone who helped to stage the parade; stewards from Cardigan Show and Barley Saturday Committees, Cardigan Castle, Cardigan Town Council, Cardigan's traders, musicians, performers, volunteers, St John's Ambulance and so many more.

“Well done everyone who made such beautiful lanterns and created the spectacle."