MULLED wine, roasted chestnuts and Christmas carols came together to create the perfect atmosphere as hundreds of families joined a festive lights switch-on.
Scores of people packed into Lee-on-the-Solent’s High Street to join the annual spectacular, complete with reindeer, a snow machine and even Santa’s grotto.
The honour of turning on the town’s illuminations went to the head boy and head girl of Lee-on-the-Solent Junior School, Charlie McLaughlin, 10, and Lilly Cooper, 10.
The Year 6s were accompanied by Gosport’s deputy mayor, Councillor Diane Furlong.
Lilly said: ‘I was speechless when I found out I would be doing this. It was amazing. It’s like Christmas has started.’
While a chuffed Charlie added: ‘It’s been great. It was a huge honour. Not many people get the chance to do something like this.’
The event was again staged by Lee-on-the-Solent Business Association.
The High Street was closed and turned into a late-night shopping precinct, complete with a French market, stalls, a petting zoo and and other children’s attractions.
Scores of families joined in with carols around the High Street’s Christmas tree, with members of the Gosport Solent Brass band providing the music.
Councillor John Beavis, representitive of Lee West ward, said the night was a rousing success.
‘The community of Lee-on-the-Solent is really quite extraordinary,’ he said. ‘It always comes together.
‘We were delighted with last year’s turnout – we thought it was really good. This year we have had even more people.’