Eastleigh town centre’s Christmas lights switch-on and fireworks, planned for this Saturday (18 November) have unfortunately had to be cancelled due to safety concerns caused by very poor weather conditions and surface water in the main viewing area.
But indoor attractions will still go ahead, including the pre-booked Santa’s Grotto and the arts and makers market at The Point theatre. The Point will also host a magician, and a balloon modeller will entertain visitors to the Swan Centre, where other festivities will take place as planned (www.visiteastleigh.co.uk). The Point’s Santa’s Grotto will also run on Sunday (pre-booking is essential – www.thepointeastleigh.co.uk).
Organisers have taken the difficult decision to cancel the outdoor event after it became clear that the Leigh Road Recreation Ground was too waterlogged to safely accommodate the crowds who watch the fireworks finale – and the strong gusts and heavy downpours predicted for Saturday will make it difficult for market stalls, street entertainment and other attractions to be run safely.The recent weather forecast has worsened for Saturday, with predicted winds gusting up to 35mph and the rain changing from light to heavy.
The extremely heavy rains in recent weeks – with further weather warnings over the coming days – have created a high risk of slips and falls for people attending the fireworks display, while rainy and windy conditions make the gazebos used for the market stalls a potential hazard and make it difficult for traders to protect their merchandise. A number of stallholders have already cancelled their pitches.
It is not possible to reschedule as many of the attractions are booked for other events in the run-up to Christmas.