Fareham Christmas Lights switch-on: Thousands gather for event despite poor weather

Bad weather didn’t stop thousands of residents enjoying a golden Christmas lights switch-on in Fareham Town Centre.

A Met Office yellow weather warning for rain led to the event being “significantly reduced” for safety reasons. Many of the planed fixtures were gone, but there was still a whole host of activities for people of all ages in West Street yesterday evening (November 18).

Councillor Fred Birkett, mayor of Fareham, said it was ‘unfortunate’ to cancel some entertainment but the show must go on. There were various Christmas stalls, face painting and a golden trail and a golden trial for children to enjoy inside the shopping centre.

The weather eventually eased, and the outdoor entertainment began after 3pm. Street performers caught the eye wherever you looked, from jugglers to living statues. Children also frolicked in the circus area.

As the daylight started to fade, Father Christmas was spotted greeting families as people began to gather for the big finale on the main stage. Lisa Birkett, mayoress of Fareham, was joined by the mayor and the winner of Fareham Borough Council’s summer colouring competition – seven-year-old Quinten.

After a 10 second countdown, the plunger was pushed and the town centre was illuminated with a golden sparkle – with the worries of the poor weather fading away. Cllr Birkett said: “It was brilliant to see so many people down here from Fareham to celebrate the community we have”

Nick Parbutt, CEO of Toob – which sponsored the event – said: “We are very happy to support and be part of an event that brings the local community together in the run up to Christmas.”

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