Portsmouth city centre gears up for festive celebration

Emergency services including the fire and rescue service will be present on the day

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FESTIVE family fun returns to Portsmouth city centre on Thursday when the Christmas lights are switched on with Father Christmas, panto stars and fireworks.

The council’s city centre Sparkler event starts on the main stage outside Debenhams at 4pm, with live entertainment including dancing and Christmas songs.

At 5.30pm, compere Rich Clarke from Heart Breakfast will welcome the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr David Fuller, Santa and two stars of the Kings Theatre panto – Vicki Michelle of ’Allo, ’Allo! and Phil Randall – to help switch on the lights.

After more entertainment – weather permitting – there will be a fireworks show at 6.30pm.

The city centre is already gearing up for the season, with the annual Christmas market in full swing, with festively-lit cabins selling a wide range of seasonal gifts, presents, novelties and stocking fillers.

Late-night shopping in the city centre gets under way on Thursday, November 24.

Cosham’s light switch-on is on Wednesday, November 23.

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