Southsea’s Christmas lights are switched on

James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

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FESTIVE cheer spread through Southsea last night as the Christmas lights were switched on in Palmerston Road.

People crowded into Southsea for the celebrations, which included live music, entertainment and children’s rides.

Christmas lights switch on at Palmerston Shopping Precinct in Southsea. Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Lynne Stagg with Molly Nelson (nine), and Santa.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (133117-6)

Christmas lights switch on at Palmerston Shopping Precinct in Southsea. Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Lynne Stagg with Molly Nelson (nine), and Santa.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133117-6)

The lights were switched on by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth councillor Lynne Stagg, Father Christmas and nine-year-old Molly Nelson.

There was a fireworks display afterwards.

Speaking at the event, organiser Colin Walker said: ‘It’s jam packed out here.

‘The area is full. This is a fun family event for the community.

‘There are different events around the city but this is for the Southsea community.

‘It’s been filled with local acts from schools and entertainers from the area.

‘It’s a chance for people to shine in front of a local audience.’

Entertainment included Mayville High School pupil Alice Milburn who was singing The Call.

Alice recently performed in front of the Queen at the Festival of Remembrance in London.

The 13-year-old is one of the stars of The Poppy Girls, a group of girls who all have fathers serving in the armed forces.

There were also performances from choirs from Portsmouth High School Juniors and Mayville High. And a brass band from Portsmouth Grammar School put on a show.

There was further entertainment from local street dance acts and a market during the day where people had a chance to buy gifts.

Colin added: ‘Christmas is starting in Southsea once again.

‘It’s looking nice and festive down here now.’

Tonight will see the Christmas lights being switched on in Gunwharf Quays.

Entertainment starts from 6pm where there will also be a Christmas shopping evening.