Gosport high street lights up as crowds gather to get into Christmas spirit

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FAMILIES braced the cold weather to get into the festive spirit as a high street turned on its Christmas lights.

Hundreds of people filled Gosport’s high street on Saturday to enjoy live music, fireworks, a range of stalls and the turning on of the Christmas tree.

Paige Yates and Lee Backhouse. Pictures by Chris Moorhouse

Paige Yates and Lee Backhouse. Pictures by Chris Moorhouse

People gathered were entertained by Little Mix tribute act LMX and a song from cast members of the New Theatre Royal’s pantomime Beauty and the Beast.

Friends Christina Long, 18, and Rebecca Piers, 19, kept warm with hot chocolate and mini donuts while watching the fireworks.

Christina, from the town, said: ‘This has become a tradition of ours.

‘Ever since we were in our early teens we would come down and watch the Christmas lights being turned on.

The tree was amazing, it was so big and pretty.

Lucy Brown

‘Nothing has really changed but it is still really good.’

Parents Ian and Lauren Brown, from Alverstoke, took their two children Mikey and Lucy. It was the first time they had attended the annual event.

Lucy, aged eight, said: ‘I liked seeing the girls singing and dancing along.

‘The tree was amazing, it was so big and pretty.’

Left to right, Zoe and Mark Burnett, and Finty Neilsen, and Eli Burnett, 3, front

Left to right, Zoe and Mark Burnett, and Finty Neilsen, and Eli Burnett, 3, front

Mikey, aged 12, liked the fireworks. He added: ‘They weren’t too loud so didn’t make me jump like fireworks normally do. I can’t wait for Christmas.’

Families were treated to a visit from Father Christmas in his sleigh and there was also face-painting, a craft event in the Discovery Centre and small rides.

At 5pm, the crowds joined in the countdown with LMX, the Mayor of Gosport Councillor Linda Batty and the theatre actors. Ronnie Hazlie, Gosport’s youth citizen of the year, was picked to push the plunger and turn on the lights.

Darren Cross and Michelle Brody were at the event with their daughter Daisy, aged four.

Little Mix tribute act LMX at the switching on of the Gosport lights

Little Mix tribute act LMX at the switching on of the Gosport lights

Michelle said: ‘We came just in time to see the live music and the fireworks. It has been a nice evening.’

The crowd at the Gosport lights switch-on

The crowd at the Gosport lights switch-on