THE Christmas light switch on in Stockbridge attracted a crowd of hundreds.

The event, on Friday, December 1, kicked off the Christmas season for the town, with special guests Elsa from Frozen and Father Christmas both in attendance.

The pair arrived at the town hall for photographs with local children at 4pm, before switching on the lights in front of St Peter’s Church at 6pm.

Hampshire Chronicle: Children could meet Father Christmas at the eventChildren could meet Father Christmas at the event (Image: Peter Nicholson Photography)Local children sang songs in front of the church ahead of the lights being switched on, and there were cakes for sale in the town hall, alongside competitions and donation boxes. Local businesses also stayed open later for anyone doing some late night Christmas shopping.

This year, the majority of the celebrations were organised by independent volunteers from the community.

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Mandy Buck, who helped lead the organisers, said: “This is the first time we’ve done something like this, and it’s gone really well.

“It’s all about doing something for the community. We have had a donation from the Cinema Club to help set things up and a lot of people, including our Elsa, are volunteering their time free of charge.

Hampshire Chronicle: Christmas carol singersChristmas carol singers (Image: Peter Nicholson Photography)“People seem to like what we have done; we have a lovely community. Next year we will be setting up a committee to help organise everything, and we are hoping to get people from the Mayflower to come along so they can do some panto stuff at the switch-on. It will be bigger and better!”

Following the light switch on, people were invited inside St Peter’s Church for some mulled wine, a mince pie and some biscuits.

To view a gallery of photos from the event, click the picture at the top of the article.