Planned festival for Portsmouth will bring Christmas magic to seaside castle

Southsea Castle
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PLANS for a three-day Christmas festival to take place at Southsea Castle have been revealed.

The team behind Victorious Festival have published an outline of the event they plan to manage, which will include live music, a Christmas market, a giant ‘astro slide’ and a champagne bar.

It is hoped the festival will provide a boost for the seafront during the quiet winter months.

Portsmouth City Council cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport Councillor Linda Symes said she was excited .

She said the festival would benefit the council financially, which would help offset the budget cuts the Tory government was imposing on the council.

She said: ‘It’s fantastic and it will be great for the city.

‘Portsmouth’s really come alive in the past few months and this will be wonderful to see.

‘We need to make sure that because of the cuts – we’ve got to save £31m over the next three years – that we’re able to generate income.

‘This is a win-win situation.’

Cllr Symes said the festival would breathe much-needed life into Southsea Castle, which was a valuable asset for Portsmouth but often went underused during winter.

She said: ‘It’s such a shame that we’ve got venues like the castle that are all too often closed during the winter.’

Other attractions will include visits by Father Christmas and the Ice Princesses, snow, a nativity petting zoo, traditional funfair, ceilidh dance, mulled wine and ciders and real ale.

There will be arts and crafts, festive food stalls, carol singing and face painting.

Initial reaction to the plan on the festival’s newly-launched Facebook page, called Christmas at the Castle, has been overwhelmingly positive.

Facebook user Emma Louise wrote: ‘This sounds like heaven on a plate to me’.

And Gemma Matthews also commented with ‘this looks fun!’

The festival will run from Friday, December 11 to Sunday, December 13.

It will be open from 10am to 7pm on Friday and 11pm on the other days. Entry will cost £6 on the Friday and £10 for the other days.

Bands playing will include the Bog Rolling Stones on the Friday, Big Soul Love on Saturday and Fleetingwood Mac on Sunday.

Tickets are available from the Meat & Barrel restaurant in Southsea as well as online at the seetickets.com website.