Christmas Lantern Procession set to launch the Watercress Line’s spectacular festive season

Join the spectacular Christmas lantern procession in Alresford on 24 November.

The Watercress Line is set to launch its festive season on Friday 24 November with a Christmas lantern procession through the streets of Alresford which should be a truly spectacular event for all the community.

Schools, scouts, churches, families, local businesses and care homes are all being invited to take part in the parade in this new event for Alresford. The lanterns, which are made of willow and paper, can easily be transformed into all kinds of festive creations. From snowmen, angels and Father Christmases, to caterpillars, flowers and spiders, they can be simple, small structures or huge feats of engineering!

En masse they will make for a colourful and impressive parade to herald the start of the Christmas season, setting off from Perins School at 5.30pm.

To further add to the wow-factor, after the procession has travelled from Jacklyn’s Lane via West Street and Station Road, it will arrive in front of Alresford Station just in time to see the arrival of this year’s new Steam Illuminations train lit up in all her glory.

To round off the evening, there will also be live festive music with traditional folk band Shantyhead for all the community to enjoy. With the beautifully decorated Alresford Station, the aromas of mulled wine, and delicious refreshments, whether you are a participant or a spectator, the evening should be a night to remember.

The Watercress Line’s interim CEO Rebecca Dalley said: “We are excited that the launch of the Watercress Line Steam Illuminations event train will be celebrated with this brilliant lantern procession.

“It is a wonderful endorsement of the important place that our Christmas train plays in the lives of local people that so many are getting involved to mark the start of the festive season. Please come along – we look forward to welcoming you.”

The lantern procession is free to enter and to observe. Tickets for Steam Illuminations must be booked in advance.

Anybody wishing to take part in the procession must register before the deadline date – 13 November. Download the booking form and find out more.

For anyone wanting to learn how to make a lantern, you can find out more at

For more information and to book tickets to Steam Illuminations, you can find out more at

All visitors to the spectacular light show train rides will be given an LED wristband which interacts with the on-board music and lights. The journey will be filled with the seasonal sounds of the Watercress Line’s Christmas Chart Crackers DJ mix-up until Christmas Day, followed by the Pop Anthems Journey, featuring favourite tunes from the 1960s to present day, until January 6.

The trains depart from either Alresford or Alton and complete a round trip. The experience lasts approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.