THERE was dancing in the street and merry sing-alongs as hundreds of people gathered to watch the Cosham Christmas lights tonight.
It was a damp, cold November night, but that didn’t stop scores of families wrapping up and heading to the high street to soak up the festive spirit.
There were some brilliant performances on the stage, including several local dance troupes and the tuneful tones of The News’ Instant Star winner Mollie Jay, who belted out Hallelujah.
At 5pm the street was bathed in twinkles as the lights were switched on.
The honour of pressing the plunger fell to the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Frank Jonas, Father Christmas and three stars from the forthcoming Cinderella pantomime at The Kings Theatre, Emily Trebicki, Jordan Adams and Justine Marie Mead.
Emily said: ‘I’m excited!
‘It’s such an awesome turn-out.’
Tanya Reed, 35, from Paulsgrove, came along to watch three of her six children, Britney, 15, Harrison, 12 and Lexie, four, perform for South Zone Academy.
‘It’s the start of Christmas,’ she said.
‘It’s not long now! They are really excited.’
The lights are new, which is goodShaun Smith, from Cosham
Pauline Davey, 36, also from Paulsgrove, brought along her daughters Shauna, five, and Poppy, who is 19 months old.
‘Christmas is family time,’ she said.
‘I just love all the family being around.’
Shaun Smith, 48, from Cosham, came to watch his daughter, 14-year-old Eleanor Smith, perform with Timestep Academy.
‘The lights are new, which is good,’ he said.
‘Last year they were not very good.
‘The council has invested some money and put new ones up.’
There was a friendly atmosphere at the event, with local shop workers coming out to hand out doughnuts and goodies.
At 6pm all eyes gazed at the night’s sky as it became a kaleidoscope of bursting colours during the fireworks.
Ally Calver, 34, who enjoyed the event with her three-year-old daughter Olivia, said: ‘It’s nice to make a change to the high street and get into the festive spirit.’