Free festive fun on Saturday - weather permitting
Gosport is planning to get into the festive mood on Saturday [27 November] with fun and activities for all the family in the High Street.
Highlights of the programme include a lantern parade, a countdown to the Christmas lights switch-on, and a stage performance featuring songs from films such as Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mary Poppins and The Greatest Showman.
But we are keeping a close eye on the weather forecast, as high winds have been predicted on the day, with gusts that could be strong enough to damage or blow away marquees and canopies.
We will decide around Friday lunchtime whether to cancel all or some of our scheduled events as a public safety precaution.
If events are cancelled, we will work to re-schedule them next month.
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Graham Burgess, said: "Lots of preparation has gone into Saturday's programme to make sure people have a great time. There's something for everyone and it should be a real festive occasion to kick off the season.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed that the weather doesn't let us down. The last thing we want to do is cancel anything, but we have to think about the safety of people at the event, so we're keeping a close eye on the forecast."
As well as the town centre's regular market and shops, the scheduled programme for Saturday includes:
- face-painting, a make-and-take craft tent, and the Gosportarians' Christmas sleigh with Santa and his elves
- a lantern parade from 4pm
- a children's funfair ride (£2 per child)
- a selection of food and drink on sale
- the Christmas lights switch-on event, due to start onstage at 2.30pm, compered by Wave 105 DJ Stuart McGinley and featuring headline act That's Showbisney, performing a singalong show with iconic costumes and songs. Other acts due to perform include the Big Noise Community Samba Band, Twisted Fiddle, Lianne King, the St John's School Choir and the Travellin' Shedders ukulele band. The big switch-on is planned for 6pm, performed by stars from the New Theatre Royal Christmas show, Cinderella, joined by Father Christmas and friends.
- a firework display from the top of the Discovery Centre as the lights go on
In Lee-on-the-Solent, Christmas events with a Victorian theme are planned for Friday and Saturday, including stalls, street entertainers, reindeer, funfair rides and Father Christmas. The Christmas lights switch-on ceremony is at 6.30pm on Friday, with the Mayor of Gosport, Cllr Mark Hook, attending and carols sung around the Christmas tree. Children are being encouraged to bring lanterns.
The Lee events are being run by Montserrat Events with the Lee Business Association, working with Cllr Burgess and Cllr John Beavis. For the latest information see here or the Christmas in Lee Facebook page.