Colchester set to sparkle for Christmas lights switch-on this weekend

Last year's Colchester Christmas lights turn on event. Picture: NIGEL BROWN

Last year's Colchester Christmas lights turn on event. Picture: NIGEL BROWN - Credit: Archant

A festive feel will settle across Colchester on Sunday (November 26) when the town switches on its Christmas lights.

A whole day of seasonal fun is planned right across the town centre thanks to the Colchester Presents initiative.

Activities begin at 11am, with brass bands, choirs and street performers all on hand to delight shoppers.

Father Christmas rides into town at 4pm ready for the Fenwick window unveiling in the High Street – with the store promising something special following a disappointing response to last year’s display.

Inside Fenwick, visitors can enjoy a Christmas Carousel sculpture with each of the nine horses decorated by a local school. The equine beasts will after Christmas be sold to raise funds for St Helena Hospice, with the school which made them having first refusal.

Santa will then switch on the Colchester Christmas lights, alongside the mayor, at 4.30pm.

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Snow Sisters, the Ice Prince and Snowman will switch on the Culver Square lights at the same time.

Cllr Gerard Oxford, Colchester mayor, said: “Christmas in Colchester has always been an extra special time, and is something I always look forward to every year.

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“Working alongside the Colchester Presents partnership, we will be ensuring plenty of festive sparkle and cheer at the start of the festive season, with a memorable day for the whole family at the annual Christmas lights switch-on.”

Carl Milton, managing director of Fenwick Colchester, said: “Following last year’s disappointing response to our window unveiling we are thrilled to be bringing something different and spectacular to this year’s celebrations to launch the Christmas season.

“I hope shoppers will enjoy the show and all the town festivities.

“We are also immensely proud to be giving local children the chance to be creative in decorating our Carousel horses, which we can’t wait to invite people in store to see and be proud of.”

Late night shopping begins again on Wednesday, November 29, taking place each Wednesday in the run up to Christmas. Many stores will stay open until 9pm on these nights.

Colchester Borough Council is offering free parking in the town on those nights at its car parks.

Lion Walk Shopping Centre is switching on its Christmas lights on that first late shopping night.

Other events this season include free entry to Colchester Castle from 3-8.30pm on Wednesday, December 13, complete with carols, mince pies and entertainment – plus the chance to visit Santa in his grotto and get a gift for £3.50.

For more information about Christmas in Colchester, go to the Visit Colchester website.

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