THOUSANDS descended into Romsey to watch the Christmas light switch on - to which could have been a “record turnout”.

Residents and visitors turned out in the rain to watch Romsey Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Burnage press the switch to reveal a fabulous 25 foot tree covered in white lights as well as the hundreds of coloured LED bulbs strung across the principle streets throughout the town.

Mountbatten School Windband, joined by a number of former students, played Christmas themed tunes as a prelude to the main event.

Romsey town centre manager, Mark Edgerley, said: “It was an amazing turnout, there were thousands of people there.

“If it wasn’t a record turnout, then it was very close.

“We expected a good turnout - but I couldn’t believe how many came, people were arriving at 5:30pm.”

He added: “The BKP Winter Carnival Procession then passed through the crowds, supported by a number of local companies and community groups this procession gets better with every year, Tableaus full of colour, light and sound with dozens of adults and children waving to the crowds and encouraging donations that the Carnival Committee will distribute to local charities.

“Many braved the weather to join the Walking Tableau who were followed by ponies and riders dressed for Christmas.”

Mark said they even struggled to make way for the carnival to walk through the town centre.

Cllr Janet Burnage said: "It was a great privilege to light up Romsey for Christmas.

"The Christmas lights in Romsey are always wonderful and this year is no exception.

"From where I was standing there seemed to be more people than ever attending, not deterred by the damp weather.

"I want to express my thanks to the people and businesses who worked hard in the lead up to the carnival and switch on to ensure that Romsey has a superb display at Christmas, not forgetting those on the floats along with the walking displays and the ponies - the effort was well rewarded with lots of cheers and they paraded through the town.

"Without their input and the work of the carnival committee the evening would not happen."