It wasn’t just the Christmas lights that illuminated the town centre last night.
A dazzling array of performances from local acts and a celebratory firework display meant families were in high spirits at the Christmas lights switch-on at Commercial Road.
Locals braced the cold to watch former X Factor star and I’m a Celebrity runner up Jake Quickenden – who is starring in the Kings Theatre’s panto this year – push a giant red button to light up the town centre.
He stood with his Cinderella co-star Jack Edwards who is the wicked stepmother, Pompey’s Ronan Curtis and Craig MacGillivray, The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason, and Father Christmas.
Paul and Caroline Sheldon took their sons James, six and George, three, to the event.
Paul, from Fratton, said: ‘This is our first time here with the kids and it’s better this year than before.
‘It’s a really good event, the kids are enjoying it.
Caroline added: ‘There’s lots of doughnuts, sweets and treats, glowing sticks, what else could you want?'
There was entertainment for families from 4pm onwards, with performances live on-stage from Timestep School of Dance, Portchester Youth Theatre, BH Live, Giselle, Dance Alchemy, Abstract Dance & Performing Arts, SD Studio, South Zone, Neptune Girls and UVG.
The festive Christmas market in Commercial Road was also opened.
Kellie Hussey took her three children to the event and goes every year.
She said: ‘My daughter always asks me to come, it’s hectic but we love it, there’s always lots to see.’