Chichester Christmas tree light switch-on 2018

Songs and smiles brightened up the city centre at the switch-on of the Rotary's Christmas tree lights on Saturday.

Despite the drizzly weather, a sizable crowd gathered for the torch-lit procession at the Market Cross, accompanied by Oakwood School choir.
Dean of Chichester, Rev Stephen Waine gave the customary blessing of the Rotary Christmas tree, before Mayor of Chichester Martyn Bell gave the countdown for the tree switch-on.
After the crowd's cheers had died down, Chichester City Band and Chichester Community Choir struck up carols to mark the start of the Christmas season.
Emma Eberhardt, who runs Chichester Community Choir, said: "It was a different style switch-on than we've had before but still very enjoyable.
"The choir really live singing out in the community and singing with the city band is always fantastic, it's always a really Christmassy feel."
She said a flashmob the choir had done at Lakeland earlier that evening had also gone very well.
"The element of surprise was really great fun," she added.
Chichester's Christmas street lights had a 'soft launch' this year, with the shopping street displays already illuminated before the event, hosted by the Rotary club.

Oakwood school choir. Chichester Christmas lights 2018

Oakwood school choir. Chichester Christmas lights 2018

Dean of Chichester, Rev Stephen Wayne blesses the tree. Chichester Christmas lights 2018

Dean of Chichester, Rev Stephen Wayne blesses the tree. Chichester Christmas lights 2018

Chichester Christmas lights 2018

Chichester Christmas lights 2018

Chichester City Band. Chichester Christmas lights 2018

Chichester City Band. Chichester Christmas lights 2018

Members of Chichester Community Choir. Chichester Christmas lights 2018

Members of Chichester Community Choir. Chichester Christmas lights 2018

Laura Heriman, Mary Gooden, Julie Sandalls and Katie Draper ready for the torch-lit procession. Chichester Christmas lights 2018

Laura Heriman, Mary Gooden, Julie Sandalls and Katie Draper ready for the torch-lit procession. Chichester Christmas lights 2018