FIREWORKS and festivities marked the start of the Christmas period in Gosport.
Hundreds of people packed into the High Street to watch the town’s Christmas lights being lit on Saturday.
The big switch-on came at the end of an entire day of festive-themed events in the town centre.
And artificial snow rained down upon the crowds as the event finished with an impressive firework display.
Cassie Ward, of Forton Road, watched the fireworks with her three-year-old son Jacob.
The 34-year-old said: ‘Watching the children singing carols on the stage was really nice.
‘It seems unbelievable that Christmas is here again but things like this are so nice it cheers you up.
‘My son enjoyed watching the fireworks; they were really good.’
Gosport’s town centre turned into a winter wonderland with songs, music and activities for children all day.
In the nearby SEARCH Museum, youngsters heard Christmas stories and made lanterns while in the Discovery Centre the St Vincent Singers sang for an audience.
In the evening, children from St John’s school in Grove Road sang carols on the main stage before actor Tom Owen, from Last of the Summer Wine, switched on the lights.
Members of the Thorngate Pantomime and Variety Company performed a mini-panto to give people a taste of this year’s Christmas production.
David Barnes, 23, from Clarence Road, said: ‘I couldn’t believe how many people were down here to watch it all.
‘But I’m glad I came down because it was really good.
‘The fireworks were pretty impressive and it feels like Christmas is just around the corner now.’