Picture slideshow: Leigh Park’s Christmas lights

  • People took part in a lantern procession to celebrate the occasion
  • The Solent Male Voice Choir sung some carols
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CHRISTMAS has arrived in Leigh Park as hundreds of people paraded through the streets to mark the start of the festive season.

The Christmas lights were switched on last night and people joined in a lantern procession to mark the occasion.

Mick Crockford as a snowman at Leigh Park 'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151970-9)

Mick Crockford as a snowman at Leigh Park 'Picture Ian Hargreaves (151970-9)

The Solent Male Voice Choir was there to sing some festive songs as well.

Yvonne Weeks is chairwoman of the Leigh Park grotto. She said: ‘We have done this for the last four years. It gets people together and to switch the lights on is something that’s part of the grotto now.’

Last year, 1,520 children visited the grotto in a fortnight.

Yvonne added: ‘The children love it. It’s good community spirit.

It brings the community together and it starts the Christmas season off brilliantly

Councillor Leah Turner, mayor of Havant

‘What we try to achieve is value for money and a magical experience for the children and the families when they come to the grotto.’

Rachel Beardsworth, 39, took along her children James Grubb, 10, and Ben Grubb, seven.

She said: ‘I have never been to anything like this before. It’s really nice. It’s a nice thing to do in the community.’

Becky Sperring, 27, from Sharpse Close, brought along her four-year-old daughter Lexi-Mai Lackemby.

The switching-on of the Christmas lights at Leigh Park shopping centre. ''Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151970-10)

The switching-on of the Christmas lights at Leigh Park shopping centre. ''Picture Ian Hargreaves (151970-10)

She said: ‘It’s our local shopping centre and what they put together was absolutely amazing, not just for the adults but for the children as well.

‘We are a close-knit community and this just makes it more Christmassy.

‘It’s the first time Lexi-Mai has been to something like this.’

Councillor Leah Turner is the mayor of Havant. She said: ‘I think it’s absolutely brilliant. There were lots of happy people and lots of people with Santa hats.

The Leigh Park Riders at the lights switch-on 'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151970-6)

The Leigh Park Riders at the lights switch-on 'Picture Ian Hargreaves (151970-6)

‘The choir were brilliant. It’s great fun putting the lights on.

‘It brings the community together and it starts the Christmas season off brilliantly.’