Braintree’s Christmas Light Switch on event held last Saturday, 20 November hailed a festive success as people came to the town centre to enjoy festivities, shop local and watch Braintree light up.
The all-day event filled the town centre with more than 50 market stalls for people to browse alongside live festive entertainment with Radio Essex for the family to enjoy.
Those who attended enjoyed live music and entertainment on the main stage in Market Place from local singers and school choirs, as well as free face painting and a visit from Radio Essex and Bethany Shriever, the BMX Gold Medallist, for the official light switch on.
Other festivities took place on the day, including Christmas décor crafts at Braintree Museum, drinks bar and family photo shoots at Braintree Town Hall, Christmas stalls and a free snow globe for the children in George Yard Shopping Centre, as well as live music entertainment throughout the afternoon at the fountain end of the High Street, organised by The Boars Head.
Visitors were also able to take part in the first day of the free gingerbread trail which is running until 20 December, an activity where families can explore the town centre to find the missing gingerbread characters in shop windows in a bid to boost footfall for local businesses.
Councillor Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at Braintree District Council, said: “A huge thank you to everybody who visited Braintree town centre to enjoy the annual light switch on event – our first big event where we’ve been able to really make the most of the new pedestrianised area. It was a great success and brilliant to see so many shoppers and visitors supporting the town and our local businesses. This event is a true reflection of people coming together to deliver something fantastic for the town.”
Councillor Frankie Ricci, Cabinet Member for Communities at Braintree District Council, said: “We are thrilled with the support from the community for our switch-on event, which attracted visitors to browse, shop and support local. I would like to thank everyone for getting involved and spreading the Christmas spirit across the district.”
Braintree District Council received positive feedback from local market traders who attended the event.
Matt Brown, Owner of Gourmet Yorkshire Wraps, said: “It is always great to be part of the street market and loved our time at the Christmas lights switch on. It was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves and getting festive.”
Two more Christmas street markets are lined up for Saturday 4 December and Saturday 18 December where a variety of stallholders will be across the town centre offering everything from local produce, artisan foods, drinks, Christmas decorations and gifts.
Upcoming Christmas Light Switch on events will also be taking place in Halstead on Saturday 27 November and Witham on Saturday 4 December, organised by their town councils. Details of the events and others across the district in the lead up to Christmas can be found on our Visit Braintree District website.