HUNDREDS of families gathered in Alresford to welcome the annual arrival of Father Christmas last night, writes Ashleigh Wilmot.

The event was jointly organised by The Alresford Pigs Association and The Christmas Tree Committee to give the children the opportunity to meet Santa and his helpers.

Kevin Burrows, chairman of the Christmas tree fund, said: “We want to say a big thank you to the local businesses who sponsor us to fund the event. It’s free of charge so we rely entirely on them and people’s donations.”

The efforts of the community did not disappoint as the children used ‘the wheel of fortune’ to locate Santa in his sleigh. The crowd asked Rudolf, a toy soldier, a penguin and a snowman in the windows of the street houses for their help in finding Father Christmas.

Oliver Wilson Barnes, the publicity officer for the Alresford Pigs Association, added: “It was another great turn out for a traditional day in Alresford’s Christmas calendar.

“It’s great to still be doing this for over 60 years”.

The children’s choir from Sun Hill Junior School and Perins School came together to sing festive classics which included ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ and ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ on stage in Broad Street.

Alresford was policed by special constables that volunteered to make sure the event was safe.

Tom Haye, the chief officer for the Special Constabulary, said: “This event brings people together and we are proud to support the Alresford community on an event like this.”