Picture slideshow: Portchester Gala

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A MAGICAL parade left thousands of people in Portchester spellbound.

The Portchester Gala broke all records, say event organisers, with one of the biggest turn-outs in its history.

Belly dancers shimmy down the road as the Portchester Gala Parade heads for The Castle Picture: Mick Young (160761-06)

Belly dancers shimmy down the road as the Portchester Gala Parade heads for The Castle Picture: Mick Young (160761-06)

Hundreds of people lined the streets as the grand procession made its way from Portchester Community Centre, in West Street, towards the historic town’s historic castle, in Church Road on Saturday.

Sarah Moss, manager of the community centre, said: ‘The whole day has been amazing.

‘We had the biggest turn-out ever. We must have had between 3,000 and 4,000 people during the whole day.’

Wicor Primary School won the children and young people’s category with their inspired Harry Potter float.

The Portchester Gala Parade heads for The Castle 
Picture: Mick Young
 (160761-01)

The Portchester Gala Parade heads for The Castle Picture: Mick Young (160761-01)

More than 100 pupils dressed up as wizards and witches and waved their magic wands at the crowds.

Former winners, Portchester Community School, who were all dressed in colourful clothes to mark the Rio 2016 Olympics, were pipped to the top spot.

Everyone Active School of Dance was this year’s runner-up, with Portchester Youth Theatre in third.

In the community category Egyptian belly dancers from Aziza clinched the title, beating the marching band from TS Tenacity into second and Paradise in Portchester, who were third.

And in the under-five category, Andy Pandy Pre-School came out on top with a strong turn-out in the procession, beating competition from Little Stars and Portchester Day Nursery.

All the prizes were handed out by Pompey legend Alan Knight.

Sarah added the day had generated enough cash to pay for this year’s Portchester Christmas tree.