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Light event to begin Christmas calendar

By Connor Steel

GOSPORT BOROUGH COUNCIL have outlined details of the town’s Christmas Light switch-on event due to take place next Saturday (November 26), which will start an extended calendar of themed activities over four successive weekends as organisers look to bring together families and residents together after a tough year.

It looks set to be a brilliant occasion after last year’s cancellation due to extreme weather conditions, with the switch-on taking place at 6pm in Lawrence Square (by Gosport Town Hall). Doing the honours from the main stage will be stars from New Theatre Royal pantomime Sleeping Beauty alongside Father Christmas himself.

This finale will end an extended day of attractions starting at 9am including free face painting between 12pm and 3pm; queues closing at 2:30pm to avoid a late finish. Father Christmas and his elves are also due a visit via the Gosportarian’s sleigh and there is set to be a free craft area alongside smaller children’s funfair rides.

Stage entertainment begins at 2:30pm compered by Wave 105 DJ Stewart McGinley and will feature multiple talents from across the local region; whilst street performance groups will walk down areas of the High Street at regular intervals during the afternoon in a display of colour / music for shoppers over the payday weekend.

Another highlight will see the spectacular Brouhaha carnival parade, which was postponed on September 17 as a mark of respect following Her Majesty’s sad passing and the build-up to her State Funeral. This will see a parade of performers travel to the main stage from the Falklands Gardens (by the Gosport Ferry terminal).

They will arrive at approximately 4pm and participate in costume displays on stage, which will furthermore be accompanied by music and fellow entertainment lasting until the switch-on at 6pm. Unlike previous events of this kind organisers have confirmed that no firework displays are currently scheduled due to multiple factors.

Next Saturday will also celebrate the official opening of the newly revamped Gosport Museum & Art Gallery, which is scheduled to open to the public from 12:30pm to 6pm. The site will host Give it a Go Festival (also postponed from September), where visitors can explore multiple free creative-based activities until 4:30pm.

Festivities will further continue over three successive Saturdays in December (3, 10 and 17) with all activities set to be held in the area of Town Hall and Lawrence Square from 10am until 3pm each weekend. This does include carols, a gigantic snow globe for photographs and  Victorian juggler; with information available here.

Councillor Peter Chegwyn said in a press release earlier published online earlier this week: “This year we’re not only holding our traditional lights switch-on show, but the whole host of family events right up to the week before Christmas. We really hope local people enjoy these performances and attractions, most of them free. And of course, we hope local businesses will benefit from a bustling town centre (and Gosport High Street).”

Readers are encouraged to look at this poster or via the Discover Gosport profile on Facebook for details on each event, alongside others across Gosport. Printed leaflets are also available via popular buildings across the town such as Thorngate Halls, the Tourist Information Centre, libraries and other local community hubs.

PICTURED BY ALAMY (C41D94): The Christmas lights will be switched on in Gosport next Saturday, which will be the first of four successive weekends seeing themed activities at Lawrence Square during December.