CHRISTMAS arrived in Gunwharf Quays last night as hundreds turned out to watch the lights being switched on.
People crammed into the main square in Gunwharf in the bitter cold to mark the beginning of the festive season.
The light switch-on was hosted by Wave 105 and after a big countdown, fake snow was pumped out across the crowd, to the sound of Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone.
Claire Smale is marketing manager at Gunwharf Quays.
She said: ‘We had lots of entertainment on stage.
‘We had a fashion show. It’s brought Christmas to the audience giving them ideas about what to wear this Christmas.
‘We had lots of retailers taking part in offers this evening, serving mulled wine and mince pies.
‘There has been a lot going on for visitors.’
And Claire said it’s a good way to kick off the festive season.
‘It’s very popular. For us it’s the start of Christmas.
‘All the feedback we have had from visitors has been great.
‘Everybody has been really positive and has been getting into the festive spirit. They have had a good night.’
There was entertainment from the Portsmouth Grammar School choir, a street fashion show, and string trio Cordelectra.
The popular film The Snowman was also shown on the big screen.
Dave Hutchings, 33, from Portchester, brought his family along including two-year-old Imogen.
He said: ‘We just wanted to see the lights. It was good. It’s a nice thing to do as a family.’
Julie Collier, 58, came down to watch the lights with Leanne Collier, 27, and five-year-old Dolcie Croughan. They all live in Gunwharf Quays.
Leanne said: ‘We did a bit of shopping beforehand. We wanted to see the Christmas lights being switched on.
‘It was good singing all the Christmas songs.’