Record crowds for Eastleigh’s Christmas parade

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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.

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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.

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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!”

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  13 comments for “Record crowds for Eastleigh’s Christmas parade

  1. M Evans
    November 24, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Shame the council couldn’t support the proper carnival like this, money grabbing gits that’s lib dems

  2. Louis
    November 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Not as much money to made with the Carnival and money is the main driver to all of what the FIB DEM council does sod the people of Eastleigh.

  3. angermanagement
    November 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    maybe you don’t realise that 2 Lib Dem councillors started up Eastleigh Mardi Gras to replace the carnival…..because the committee didn’t want to carry on with it…..and it was given the new name because the old carnival committee would not allow them to call it Eastleigh Carnival…..

    • Mark evans
      November 27, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      I think you’ll find thee old carnival committee folded, due to the rise in cost of policing , road closures , insurances etc etc , all with no or very little help from the council

      • anonymouse
        November 28, 2013 at 11:06 am

        Strange that the council can financially support a revamp of the Carnival but not the carnvival itself. Is that because two of its Councillors had the idea of starting a mardi gras (so traditional in this part of Southern England)? Why couldn’t the Council support the long established carnival?

  4. angermanagement
    November 27, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    The Mardi Gras seems to be managing with the costs you have mentioned so maybe theres more to the collapse of the carnival then you know.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      November 28, 2013 at 1:21 am


  5. Pete Stewart
    November 28, 2013 at 10:51 am

    The crowd proves that large numbers of gregarious people are out there and willing to abandon their computers and come into Eastleigh PROVIDED the marketing is right.

    Such business marketing could be applied throughout the year and all these people would come in and shop in these numbers.

    The Town could come alive again. That’s how I see Eastleigh’s potential. It can be done. People enjoy crowds and hustle and bustle. It just needs to be realized.

    • November 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      Yes, agreed but the next day it was not that busy plenty of parking while in Winchester – chaos at the free car parks

      • Pete Stewart
        November 28, 2013 at 6:16 pm

        P R E C I S E L Y!

        I was in Alresford mid week afternoon and as always, it was packed with cars (hence shoppers). The secret is simple: Alresford has unlimited FREE PARKING

  6. angermanagement
    November 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    So anonymouse do you know for a fact that the carnival was given no financial help from the council and that the council finances the Mardi Gras or are you just surmising???

  7. angermanagement
    November 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    we just don’t have the right retailers in Eastleigh to pull in the crowds,,,thats the problem….I’ve lived here most of my life and I very rarely shop in the town because the variety is so low……unless I want to feed my face….gamble my money away or even go charity shopping..

  8. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    November 29, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Competing against West Quay or Winchester for Christmas shoppers is a hopeless task IMO. In particular, the ice rink and continental style Christmas market in the picturesque cathedral close is a huge draw. Eastleigh’s yuletide trade is being squeezed between two mega attractions – the least it can do is offer seasonal parking concessions.
    The main event in Eastleigh is the firework display but not many retailers stay open late to capitalise on it.

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