CHRISTMAS spirit was in the air as the festive lights were turned on in Waterlooville to mark the beginning of this year’s season.
Young and old braved the chilly weather to enjoy the seasonal fun at The Precinct in London Road.
As well as marvelling at the bright lights on a dark evening, there was fun for all the family with a variety of entertainment on show including a fair, craft stalls, Christmas songs and delicious hot drinks and food. And, of course, Father Christmas was in town, much to the delight of the children.
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A lantern procession, led a by the Horndean Marching Band, weaved its way through the town before there were songs around the Christmas tree.
Jackie Buckley, chair of the events team, said: ‘It's been a great team effort. We've had 15 volunteers who have been here all day after helping set things up from early in the morning to last thing at night.
'There was a big turnout from all the community which shows that people will come to Waterlooville if they have a reason.
'We couldn't have done it without the help of the 35 businesses who donated money or gave in kind. We had to put in batteries for all the lights one at a time. It took a day and a half to put the lights up and a day to take them down.'
Jackie revealed there were other problems too. 'The lights on the main tree had been pulled down to the bottom of the tree which was a shame as not everyone could see when the lights were turned on,' she said. 'It would have taken a cherry picker and three men to sort that out which sadly we didn't have the time or money to do.
'We're grateful to Hampshire County Council and Havant Borough Council for helping us stage it, as well as Waitrose and Wilko for supplying us the lights which cost £2,000.'