CROWDS enjoyed Christmas music and at a Southampton Christmas light switch-on.

Residents braved the rain on Saturday to attend the second annual Christmas light switch-on event in Bitterne Precinct.

The Countdown to Christmas in Bitterne event saw dozens of families arrive in rain coats and woolly hats to watch the festive lights turn on for the first time this year.

A brass band played a number of Christmas carols in the run up to the big event.

The Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Peter Baillie, was the guest of honour at the event and he switched on the lights just after 5pm following a short speech.

He thanked the crowds for turning up and explained how he felt the whole community of Bitterne had pulled together for the event despite the rain.

After two Christmas carols were sang, the Mayor hit the plunger and turned on the lights.

One big Christmas tree in the centre of the precinct was lit up as well as a number of lights on lamp posts.

As well as a band, there were a few rides and stalls for children to enjoy including trampolines and a small roundabout ride.

There was also a stall from the Bitterne Parish Church who were promoting their Messy Nativity Sheep Trail.

Volunteers from the church had a stall set up to inform families about their trail.

The Messy Sheep Nativity Trail is designed to help get families back into the high-street and visiting shops rather than shopping online.

There are 16 sheep, each with a different name, hidden in a number of different shops in the Bitterne precinct.

Children can pick up a leaflet with the names of 16 different shops and write down the name of the sheep they find in each store.

Once all of the sheep have been found, the leaflets can be handed in at the Parish of Bitterne Church, the URC or the Bitterne Library before December 21 to be in with a chance of winning a prize.

Last night, after the Daily Echo went to print, Shirley High Street celebrated their second annual light switch on.