COLOURFUL lanterns filled the streets of Gosport as children took part in a parade to raise some Christmas cheer.
Organised by Rachel Webber, Gosport Asda community champion, this year’s lantern parade was bigger and better than last year as nine schools took part in the fun event on Saturday.
Last year the Gosportarians received a grant through the Asda Foundation for the parade and were able to use this funding to donate the materials for the lanterns.
Lantern workshops have been taking place across the town and the willow Christmas tree theme went down well, with plans afoot for next year’s theme of Christmas presents.
The biggest school turnout came from Gomer Junior School, who will receive a trophy for the year.
Rachel said: ‘Six years ago I attend my first Lantern Parade at Totton thanks to Julie Motherwell and I have not missed one since.
‘I was so blown away by the community involvement and wonderful atmosphere that it inspired me to hold a Gosport Lantern Parade 2019 in my own little town.
‘The lantern parade is so much fun and I am thrilled that the council have asked me to help the past two years.’
They walked up the High Street with their lanterns, singing songs, and at 3.30pm sang to the audience in front of the stage at the light switch-on.
Mayor of Gosport Kathleen Jones went along to present the winners with a prize and also joining in the parade were special guests Santa and the town criers.
‘Events like this really make a difference in the community and it’s great to know I played a part in the Christmas spirit of Gosport,’ said Rachel.
‘I had a great team this year thanks to Elodie Gardner from Gomer Junior School and Fareham community champion Heidi Ford.’
This followed last week’s Gosportarians tea and social which saw more than 80 people join in with a Christmas meal and bingo, with help from the Asda community champions.
Festivities will carry on throughout this month in Gosport as Santa’s sleigh is set to travel around and visit children around the town.