CROWDS thronged the centre of Christchurch when ITV Meridian’s veteran presenter Fred Dinenage switched on the town’s Christmas tree illuminations and street lights.
Saturday’s day-long event featured Santa’s procession with real reindeer from the Priory Gates to the hub of the action in Saxon Square, revellers undeterred by the rain for the community generated Christmas Festival.
A mini funfair entertained the children and a street market offered goodies including craft products, seasonal produce and food and drink.
Entertainment in the square included choirs, live bands and entertainers – all under the Christmas marquee.
The highlight was the switch-on from the Mayor’s Parlour balcony, with Fred accompanied by Santa and mayor Cllr Lesley Dedman.
Run by volunteers, the event was supported by Christchurch council, the Chamber of Trade and local businesses.