By Connor Steel
FAREHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL have published key details of its annual Christmas Lights switch-on event to be held in the town centre next month, inviting all residents from across the borough to attend this popular occasion; organisers hoping to register another record-breaking turn-out as the festive calendar takes shape.
A date has been finalised as November 19 (Saturday) with the lights scheduled to be switched on at 5:30pm, the Mayor of Fareham Councillor Mike Ford doing the honours. This is due to be followed by a ‘spectacularly great’ finale show featuring local entertainment acts, including music, live from the big stage (near Iceland).
This will end a day of themed festivities through West Street starting from 10am and running until 7pm, with something for everyone regardless of age. Performers will hope to entertain huge crowds throughout the day by showcasing their talents, both on the main stage at regular intervals and along the pedestrianised areas.
And there is a special festive theme based upon upon the classic Christmas story of The Nutcracker, which was published in the 19th century and been adapted into many media platforms including ballet. The Sugar Plum Fairy is due to be the host for the entire day with themed music and costume outfits likely to feature.
November 19 will furthermore see the launch of the themed ‘Nutcracker Trail’ lasting for a total of four weeks until December 17. In this time people from all age groups are invited to follow a special walking trail around Fareham Shopping Centre stores. Letters can be found on shop windows and will need to be unscrambled.
Once completed there is a chance to win prizes with winners contacted directly from December 19 alongside a mention on social media platforms. An entry form can be accessed here and must be returned to a box at Fareham Library with all contact details attached, or handed into the Civic Offices when the library is closed.
With the event being supported by the ‘Live Love Local’ council message, organisers have already filled the limited number of pitches for stalls selling local foods and products including ‘Letter Box Lovely’. A full list can be seen here, with the council having a waiting list as a precaution in case of cancellations or later problems.
Popular fun fair rides can further be found at the event with a small cost required to enjoy certain attractions, but all other activities will be free of charge for everybody. This includes the short visit from Father Christmas himself during his busiest time and face painting, with details of related activities set to be announced shortly.
Car parking will be available across the centre of town including the big multi-storey facility, whilst shops and businesses are due to open later on that day to encourage later trading once the lights have been switched on. Public toilets and benches will further be available for those who need it, with staff able to assist on-site.
Cllr Sue Walker, Executive Member for Leisure and Community said: “The Fareham Christmas Lights Switch On event is a festive treat for all the family. There is so much to see and do and I really encourage residents to come along early to take part in some Christmas shopping both at the festive stalls and in our remarkable range of independent shops and food and drink businesses. The Christmas lights countdown is a spectacle by itself but make sure you stay after the lights go on as we have this fabulous finale planned (on the night)”.
Readers can find out more details by visiting www.fareham.gov.uk/christmaslights including all potential new sponsorship packages for the event. General questions can also be answered by contacting the Leisure and Community Team on 01329236100 or via emailing email@example.com at any time before the switch-on.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2ADJDYR): Nutcracker theme will feature at the Fareham’s annual Christmas Light switch on event on West Street, with November 19 seeing a whole day of entertainment and festivities for all.