A mixed reaction to Fareham’s big Christmas lights showpiece

24/11/17  ''An outdoor performance group entertain the crowds at the switching on of Fareham Christmas lights. 'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (171575-1) PPP-171124-193905006
24/11/17 ''An outdoor performance group entertain the crowds at the switching on of Fareham Christmas lights. 'Picture Ian Hargreaves (171575-1) PPP-171124-193905006
Picture: Romanse

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A CHRISTMAS lights switch-on show proved to be a bit of a turn-off for residents this year.

Fareham’s Winter Christmas light switch-on saw hundreds of families crowd West Street to see John the Winter Giant turn on the lights in an outdoor performance.

Resident Kate Lobb said: ‘This year is our first time at the light switch-on and we didn’t understand what was happening with the giant.’

The crowds followed the giant from Westbury Manor before a musical performance with fake snow as the finale.

Kate added: ‘The fake snow was nice and I liked the giant idea but it was too long for the kids.

‘There was no countdown to the lights and we could not hear the singing or any of the music at all.’

Stalls lined the street along with rides and amusements for kids and face painting.

Michelle Nice said: ‘Last year there were princesses and people from the pantomimes.

‘There were more lights and Christmas music and it was really good.’

The mother added: ‘My children were really scared of the giant.

‘I have to say though the face painting was amazing and the staff working the event were all really great.’

‘But we think they need to bring back Santa next year.’

Mayor of Fareham Councillor Geoff Fazackarley said: ‘It was something totally different and unlike any other experience of the residents of Fareham.

‘It is a great atmosphere and everyone seems to be enjoying the festivities.

‘It has started the run-up to Christmas in Fareham.’

In previous years, the light switch-on events have featured firework displays.

Local mum Lucy Scanlan said: ‘It was not as good as last year and the giant was quite good but my children didn’t like him and were a bit scared.’

‘There were no fireworks which there have been before and people really liked them .

Lucy added: ‘Also there was no countdown to the lights being switched on so whilst we were watching the giant and the singers, we looked up and realised they were already on.’