CROWDS descended on the boardwalks of Port Solent as the destination’s Festival of Christmas returned.
Hundreds scoured more than 70 stalls throughout the day on the lookout for Christmas goodies – with many offering an eclectic range of bespoke festive gifts.
The Long family – comprising parents Hannah and Pete and children Emily and Millen – travelled to the fixture from Waterlooville.
Mrs Long, 35, said: ‘It’s been nice, we’re just having a little wander round the stalls to see what we can find. It’s a little bit cold, but everything looks very Christmassy which is lovely. It’s the perfect thing to bring the kids along to.’
Moira Renyard from Portchester attended as she celebrated her 48th birthday, alongside her friend Annabelle and their husbands.
Mrs Renyard said: ‘We’re local so we thought we would pop down and have a look round. It’s been lovely to see so many homemade things on all the stalls. I’ve bought a nice picture for myself so I can’t complain.’
Annabelle added: ‘We’ve found a few trinkets – it’s been lovely. If anything, this cold weather makes it more Christmassy.’
The event was also well-received by traders, who spent the day braving temperatures as low as 2C.
Nikki Ryce, 48 of Glassroot Studio, sold her hand-crafted fused and stained glassware.
She said: ‘It’s been very cold today but very festive. I’ve never been to the event before but it’s lovely – it’s very well-organised.
‘I love plants and gardening, so that’s the theme of many of the items I’ve been selling today.’
Iliyana Dimitrova, 24, pitched her stall to sell handmade meringues – which she makes through her business, Meringue-a-Tang – boasting a traditionally crispy outside and a mallow centre.
She said: ‘It’s been great today, I’ve had some really good feedback from my customers. The area looks really pretty with all the lights.
‘I think I’ll have to upgrade my signage a little bit though, lots of people thought the meringues were bath bombs!’
The free festivities are set to continue at Port Solent tomorrow from 10am until 4pm.
Visitors will get the chance to enjoy live music from female barbershop group The Pitch Pipers and city ukelele band Pompey Pluckers.