FAMILIES were in jubilant mood as Christmas and the party season was ushered into Gosport.
The borough’s annual Christmas celebrations roared to life with a dazzling lantern parade, led by Santa and town mayor, Councillor Lynn Hook.
Visitors who turned up wrapped in their winter gear watched on as the procession left from Falkland Gardens and made its way up the High Street to Lawrence Square.
Anyone could be part of the parade and had the chance to win a prize for best lantern and best fancy dress.
A free lantern-making workshop took place in the Discovery Centre.
But the festive spirit was in full swing for the switch on of the Christmas lights, which came complete with entertainment and music on stage in Lawrence Square.
Married couple Chris and Ann Richardson, of Bridgemary, enjoyed the occasion with their three-year-old granddaughter, Penny, from Romsey. Mr Richardson, 69, said: ‘It was a nice get together for the children, and better still, the weather was good.
‘Everybody seems to be going their own way, and there is a lot of loneliness, so it was good to get out and see the kids enjoy themselves with their mums and dads.’
Visitors were treated to a Let it Glow magical family tribute show and a performance by award-winning local singer Mollie-Jay, with St John’s Primary School leading the carols.