Countdown to Christmas lights switch-on!
You may not be knocking on those advent calendar doors just yet, but the exciting Christmas countdown has truly began!
On Saturday 19th November, Southend Town Centre will be transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland.
This FREE event – culminating in the thrilling Christmas lights switch-on and spectacular fireworks display - promises fun for all the family with a sensational programme of entertainment to get your festivities off to a cracking start.
The Christmas Spectacular is certain to get you into the seasonal spirit thanks to its amazing range of attractions, featuring the fabulous Royals Shopping Centre Christmas Parade led by Santa and his favourite real live reindeer.
As well as the terrific East 15 street entertainers joining and exciting the crowds, there will also be music and entertainment from Heart Live, including the Breakfast crew: Martin and Su.
BBC Essex and its presenters, Steve Scruton and Ian Wyatt will be joining in with celebrations on top of Pier Hill and providing music that will be so good it might just blast off your Christmas stockings.
They will also be bringing along their lovely yellow friend, Pudsey the bear.
The Christmas Spectacular Stage, in Victoria Circus, will offer a varied programme of live entertainment from a fantastic range of acts between 12.30pm and 3.30pm.
At 1pm, The Royals Christmas Parade will be marching away down the High Street, starting at Elmer Approach and finishing at The Royals Shopping Centre.
Led by the Essex Marching Corps, Santa will be drawn by his REAL magical reindeer, alongside other famous festive characters.
He will then be taking his rightful place on the throne in his Winter Wonderland under the glass dome at The Royals Shopping Centre to hear those precious wish-lists! Tickets are available from Debenhams.
A giant interactive snow globe will be available throughout the day at Victoria Circus. Families and small groups can have their picture taken in a snow blizzard for just £7 per picture.
There will be a glorious end to the day at 5pm as Southend is officially illuminated by the captivating Christmas lights. Then, snow will fall and at 5:30pm a firework extravaganza will begin at Pier Hill so real sparks can fly.
Then every Saturday until Christmas and including Friday 23rd December, you can wander round and explore the Christmas Farmers and Craft market for seasonal delights, festive treats and unique hand-made gifts for your special loved ones.
And there’s the terrific chance to win a £1,000 High Street shopping experience with heaps of treats in store. For more details see the Christmas-on-Sea Festive Guide available from various High Street stores!
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor John Lamb said: “With activities starting from 8:30am to 5:30pm, it really is a whole day of free Christmas fun to bring families and the community together.
“The light switch-on is always a big event for us, and we are very pleased and proud to have the Heart Essex and BBC Essex radio crews do the honours for us this year.
“With real snow falling and dazzling fireworks, it will be the type of magical event that Southend and its residents deserve.”
Dawn Jeakings, chair of Southend Town Centre Partnership said: “We have been working hard for many months to bring together a really spectacular Christmas programme for Southend.
“The Christmas Spectacular on Saturday 19th November promises to be a really fun filled day but don’t miss the Festive Fun Day on Saturday 3rd December and Carols for Christmas on Saturday 17th December.
“We can’t thank our sponsors enough for their support without which these events simply would not happen.
“Support this year has come from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, The Royals Shopping Centre, The Victoria Shopping Centre, South Essex College, McDonalds, Elvanite, Dynamic Fireworks, The Cliffs Pavilion and The Park Inn Palace Hotel.”
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