Festive cheer in the air as Christmas lights switched on in Palmerston Road Southsea after event cancelled last year

PEOPLE celebrated the start of Christmas in Southsea as the festive lights were switched on.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 8:59 pm

Families lined Palmerston Road for the spectacle after missing out last year as the Covid pandemic took hold.

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The crowd enjoyed singing and dancing performances from children on the stage as classic Christmas anthems rang out.

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The Hillyard, Palmer, Cooper, Lee-Davey and Burgess-Langford families at the switch-on of the Christmas lights in Palmerston Road, Southsea Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 251121-57)

Love Island’s Amy Hart was present alongside her pantomime stars from the Kings Theatre’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

She said: ‘I love Southsea already and look forward to seeing you all soon.’

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and the Lady Mayoress were in attendance - with the pair enjoying a joke or two on the stage before the lights were switched on.

A glittering snowflake finale filled the air as Christmas songs rang out after the lights were turned on.

Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 251121-53)

Locals attending the event were pleased to see it back after last year.

Suzanne Walker, 39, enjoyed the occasion with her son Jasper. She said: ‘They’ve done a great job and it’s nice to see the community here again.

‘There’s been lots of entertainment with singing and dancing from school children. We really enjoyed the street performers.

‘Everyone was happy and enjoying themselves. It’s good to see it back after we couldn’t have it last year.

Helen Eden with Amelia, three, and Richard Denham with Eva, four Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 251121-56)

‘I was surprised not to see the Christmas market as that would have been a big pull.’

June Robinson, 64, and her daughter-in-law Kim, 34, said: ‘It’s good to have it back but it is a bit disappointing there is no Christmas market - we were hoping to do some shopping.

‘There is a trampoline but there’s no fairground. There’s not as much for children to do.’

Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 251121-55)

Balloon seller Anneka Bond added: ‘It’s good to have it back especially after there was nothing for Christmas last year.

‘The atmosphere is good but it is normally better and the event is normally bigger. There’s normally a big fairground for children and the Christmas market is normally here - though it will be at the weekend.

‘There’s still been lots of people here who have enjoyed it though.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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Palmerston Road, Southsea Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 251121-58)