SHOPPERS got into the festive spirit when the annual Santa Parade descended on Festival Place.

Santa himself led a parade that featured an array of different acts and participants who marched from Porchester Square to Festival Square for a day of festive fun on Sunday, 3 December.

As well as being joined by his elves, there was a festive-themed band that gave the gathered crowd a treat with its repertoire and there was also representation from the shops in Festival Place, with the Nando’s rooster also taking part.

Festive displays were part of the parade with winter displays including a large snow globe with someone inside, stilt-walking reindeer and silver Christmas trees.

One of the stars from Peter Pan, this year’s pantomime at The Anvil, made an appearance as Smee, played by Andrew Agnew, to meet the gathered crowds.

He was joined by The North Hampshire Academy of Dance and Basingstoke Academy of Dancing, who will be performing in the pantomime.

Festival Place centre director Steven Connolly enjoyed the event.

He said. "Our Santa's Parade was a lot of fun and we were delighted to play host to visitors of all ages as they came to see our Christmassy characters.

"The Woodland Walk and Santa's Grotto is open until Christmas Eve so we do hope that many more people will choose Festival Place for their Christmas shopping and meet Santa while they are here."

There are still Christmas activities running at Festival Place, with Santa’s Woodland Walk and Grotto available until December 24.