A record crowd lined the streets and thronged around the bandstand last night to watch Santa switch on the towns Christmas lights.
Police told Eastleigh News they estimated 8,000 people were in town for the festivities which capped a day of family events.
Market St, High St and Wells Place had been closed to traffic to allow carol singing, bands, face painting, a mobile farm, rock climbing, a trampoline and stalls selling seasonal food stuffs to take over the roadway.
When darkness fell a Christmas light parade wound round the town centre. Marching bands preceded by a fire-eater accompanied the Mayor Malcolm Cross, MP Mike Thornton and Santa to the bandstand where DJ David Perry of Breeze FM had been entertaining the crowd.
Santa – who has never missed Eastleigh’s Christmas light ceremony yet – then led the crowd in a countdown and Eastleigh’s state of the art LED illuminations lit up the streets. This was the signal for the traditional spectacular firework display.
The bumper crowd made up for last year when wind and torrential rain kept people away – only 2,500 braved the elements last November.
Despite the large number of people in the town the police said there had been no serious incidents.
The town’s new MP Mike Thornton described the show as “absolutely fantastic!”