£10,000 pays for brand new festive lights for Havant and Waterlooville

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FESTIVE lights will twinkle across the Havant and Waterlooville area as the big countdown to Christmas is set to begin.

Emsworth is pulling out the stops this year splashing out on new lights after receiving a £10,000 grant.

The square will be transformed into a winter wonderland on Friday, November 30, when Father Christmas will switch on the lights.

There will be a Christmas grotto, a nativity scene, carol singing and late-night shopping.

Meanwhile, North Street is being turned into the ‘North Pole’ with face painting, a fancy-dress competition and mulled wine at Emsworth Community Centre. It starts at 5pm.

The festivities have been organised by Emsworth Business Association, which was boosted by a £10,000 donation from The Southern Co-operative.

The town’s store ran a community card scheme where shoppers could swipe a card when they bought groceries and donate to good causes. Each time cash was added to the community fund.

Carol Haskett, who has run GCS Computer Services in Emsworth for the past 18 years, has been helping to organise this year’s big switch on.

She said: ‘It’s going to look quite spectacular.’

Meanwhile, in Waterlooville town centre, the Christmas lights will be switched on by the mayor of Havant, Gerald Shimbart, on Saturday, December 1 from 4pm

There will be carol singers and Father Christmas. grotto will open on December 17.

The Christmas grotto in Leigh Park will be open on Friday. November 30 at 2pm. There will be a lantern parade at 5pm and the lights will be switched on. Shops will be staying open later.

In Mengham, Hayling, the lights will switch on at 5pm on Friday, December 7. Mengham Road will be closed and there will be fairground rides and stalls.

Havant lights will go on from November 26 and Chichester’s at 7pm on Saturday, November 24.

Petersfield’s lights will be switched on tonight at 7pm.