Braintree District Virtual Christmas Light Switch on date revealed plus how to watch

George yard shopping centre lights 2019

Talented local stars and community heroes will join residents for the district’s first ever virtual Christmas lights switch-on which will premiere on December 12th to celebrate the festive season.

Due to the current national COVID-19 restrictions, the usual outdoor switch-on event is not taking place. Instead, we have worked with town and parish councils, residents and community groups to create a pre-recorded virtual Christmas lights switch-on event to be streamed at 6.30pm on Saturday 12th December.

The family-friendly virtual event will feature a vibrant mix of talented local acts to perform festive songs, together with an appearance from Santa himself. The Council has also invited local community heroes to get involved and share their messages to the district and thank them for sticking together during the pandemic this year. There will also be a recorded Christmas message from the Chairman of Braintree District Council. 

This will lead up to the various displays lighting up in different parts of the district. From Braintree town centre and Braintree Village, to Witham and Halstead high streets, it’s a great way to sit and watch Christmas come to the Braintree district from the comfort of your own home.

How to watch

The Braintree District Virtual Light Switch-on event will be free to watch on the Braintree District Council’s Facebook page and YouTube channel on Saturday 12th December from 6.30pm.

Councillor Frankie Ricci, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Tourism at Braintree District Council, said: “It’s been an incredibly tough year and we all know celebrations during the festive season are going to be very different this year. But this event encapsulates the spirit and determination that the district has to both celebrate the Christmas season and keep our district and each other safe. It’s fantastic to see so many talented artists and performers contributing and to know that people across the district will be coming together online to spread some Christmas positivity.”  

Councillor Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: The Christmas lights switch on is always a favourite in our district and is an event that helps boost trade for our local businesses. We are still keen to support our businesses in any way we can – that’s why we have created a Shop Local Facebook page and continued our monthly virtual street markets to encourage people to shop and spend locally in the lead up to Christmas. We hope to see many people get involved in our virtual celebrations that will really bring everyone some much-needed festive cheer after what has been a difficult and challenging year.”

We are also continuing to encourage people to shop local online in the lead up to Christmas as a way of supporting small independent businesses and putting money into the local economy. Another virtual street market is also lined up for Saturday 5th December (Small Business Saturday) and Saturday 19th December where local people can pick up last-minute Christmas gifts from small independent businesses which is hosted via the Council’s dedicated Facebook group.

Festive lights will still be on display around Braintree, and in Witham and Halstead managed by the town councils, in the run-up to Christmas.

Published: 2nd December 2020