Up to five thousand people gathered together round the bandstand on Saturday night to see Eastleigh’s Mayor John Caldwell turn on the towns Christmas lights assisted by Father Christmas and special guest of honour, town crier David Squires – from Poole in Dorset.
This was followed by a magnificent firework display, the culmination of a day of family fun with a craft market, petting zoo and childrens rides from Stevens funfair as attractions.
The Mayor and his guests had led a ‘Grand Procession’ around the town centre along with the Carnival Queen and her court while being serenaded by the Old Boys Cadet Band from Romsey.
The switch on had been preceeded by community carol singing conducted by the town band and singers from Eastleigh Churches.
The firework display is usually accompanied by festive music – however this year saw a break with tradition and ‘Firestarter’ by X-rated band ‘The Prodigy’ – who had a memorable hit in 1998 with ‘Smack my bitch up’ – was played instead.
From the 29th of November until Christmas Eve, stores in the Swan Centre will be open an extra half hour in the evening Monday to Saturday, closing at 6pm instead of 5.30pm
See video of the countdown and firework display.
N.B ‘The Prodigy’ soundtrack has been overdubbed by Eastleigh News IT boffins with traditional Christmas music from Mantovani so as not to casue offence to families with young children.
and if you can’t get enough of Mantovani….
Photo: © S Slominski