WILMSLOW town centre was packed with scarecrows as hundreds of children and adults took part in the Wilmslow Dean Rotary Scarecrow parade.

The parade is the highlight of the town’s annual Scarecrow Festival, which runs until Sunday.

Saturday’s parade attracted about 500 children and adults, and stretched two-thirds of the way down Grove Street on its way to Bank Square, where there was free bottled water for the children from Tesco Handforth Dean and Waitrose Wilmslow and apples from Sainsbury’s Wilmslow.

“I cannot thank the Wilmslow police enough for their assistance in helping our Rotary members keeping safe those attending the parade,” said scarecrow festival chairman Ian Ferguson, who dressed as Dennis the Menace.

The festival was organised with the Summer Reading Challenge at Wilmslow Library, the theme of which is The Beano.

Some 80 scarecrows have been created by shops and businesses, based on characters from children’s TV, comics and films.

If children take their hand-held scarecrows to the Wilmslow Show on Sunday they will receive free entry, and if they take them to the Wilmslow Dean Rotary stand at the show they will receive a free Lego kit.

Ian added: “Wilmslow Library has had a record number of children sign up for the National Summer Reading Challenge on its launch day, but it’s not too late for children to still sign up.

“The library held a badge-making competition before the parade, and the children lined up wearing their badges, which Tatton MP Esther McVey judged, and the winner was given the library’s hand-held scarecrow to parade with.

“Esther McVey joined Rotary members in giving the children the scarecrows, and later could be seen joining in the festivities in the middle of the parade.”