FALSE snow turned to very real rain as a festive lantern parade through Upton was hit by bad weather.

But despite the battle with the elements, the Christmas celebrations organised by Upton Town Council have been hailed a big success.

On Saturday, December 21, a large procession gathered outside the parish church in Old Street, and made its way down to the riverside.

There, Upton Baptist Church pastor Paul McCabe led carol singing and children met Father Christmas and were given presents.

Mayor Peter Webb said: “The rain held off just long enough for the children to meet Santa and have hot soup to keep out the cold.

“But suddenly freezing rain took over from the snow machine and everyone quickly packed up and headed for home.”

Some of the presents for children were left over and the council has donated them to Acorns Children’s Hospice.