Emsworth lights up with great festive spirit as Father Christmas arrives

Choirs from St James' Primary School and Emsworth Primary School sing carols at Emsworth lights switch-on              Picture John Tweddell
Choirs from St James' Primary School and Emsworth Primary School sing carols at Emsworth lights switch-on Picture John Tweddell

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Voices rang out around Emsworth’s historic square as shoppers, choirs and visitors joined together to welcome Christmas.

VOICES rang out around Emsworth’s historic square as shoppers, choirs and visitors joined together to welcome Christmas.

Mayor of Havant Councillor Eliane Shimbart, joins Emsworth residents Freddie Gates and Joan Stanley''pressing the big button       Picture  John Tweddell

Mayor of Havant Councillor Eliane Shimbart, joins Emsworth residents Freddie Gates and Joan Stanley''pressing the big button Picture John Tweddell

The town’s lights were switched on by two of Emsworth’s oldest and youngest residents, schoolboy Freddie Gates and pensioner Joan Stanley.

They were joined at the Friday night switch-on by Councillor Elaine Shimbart, the mayor of Havant.

Thousands turned out for the event, which saw pupils from St James Primary School and Emsworth Primary School leading the carols.

Father Christmas arrived, to the children’s delight, but the star of the show was, once again, the lobster pot Christmas tree, on the quayside.

Father Christmas arrives for the Emsworth Christmas lights event'''              Picture John Tweddell

Father Christmas arrives for the Emsworth Christmas lights event''' Picture John Tweddell

But that was just the start. There are events happening in Emsworth throughout the festive period.

With the support of Havant Borough Council, there will be three hours free parking every Saturday in the run-up to Christmas to encourage people to use the town’s shops.

On Saturday, December 16, Emsworth Christmas Market Day featuring Hampshire Farmer’s Market takes place in St Peter’s Square, from 10am until 1pm.

The Lion’s Club and Friends of Emsworth Cottage Hospital will host a Christmas grotto and Christmas fair in the gardens of the hospital, at the same time as the market.

There will be offers in many of the shops. After visiting the market visitors can wonder down to the quayside at 11.30am for Christmas carols with Emsworth’s Village Voices.

Lobster bisque will be available to enjoy and all proceeds go to the RNLI.

And from 2pm until 4pm, the Christmas community tea and carol singing, organised by the Emsworth Business Association, takes place at the Methodist Church.

There will be songs and carols from The Cantando Choir. Tickets cost £5 and are available from The Brookfield Hotel.

All proceeds go to SSAFA.