Full details revealed for the Southend Christmas Lights Switch On, and it’s going to be huge

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Southend BID have been in touch with everything you need to know about this year’s Christmas Lights Switch On event. Read on!

Southend’s Christmas Lights switch-on event promises to be the biggest and best ever! With nine hours of free fun and entertainment on Saturday 18th November, the High Street and seafront will be filled with music and tasty treats, topped off with a fabulous firework finale!

Wrap up warm, pop your best bobble hat on and head into town to enjoy the build up to the Big Switch On. Between 2 and 4:30pm, join host Dom Atkins as he introduces local musicians to perform on the main stage at Victoria Circus.

Heart Essex stars Martin and Su will then take over to introduce an amazing line-up of acts, before leading the crowd in the traditional count-down in anticipation of Southend’s famous High Street dramatically lighting up.

As part of the excitement, BBC Essex will also be getting visitors to the High Street in the festive spirit with their own stage presenting choirs, singers and bands.

You’ll be sure to find a unique gift in the Christmas Market, with a range of beautiful gifts from local craftspeople available along the High Street.

Alternatively, keep the cold out with a cheeky gluhwein or hot snack from one of the stallholders in the Farmers’ Market.

There will also be plenty of producers offering all manner of delicious delights to stock up your fridges, freezers and cupboards with.

The Victoria Shopping Centre is offering its visitors free face-painting, a chance to meet the glorious Glitter Belles – imagine Seventies disco meets avant-garde fashion – and have your photo taken with super-friendly elves in the Elf Booth.

Meanwhile, The Royals Shopping Centre is offering you a chance to stroke a magical, lifelike polar bear, win prizes and meet Santa himself.

Bringing the day to a spectacular close will be a dazzling firework display. The beautifully choreographed show will, for the first time this year, be set to music by those clever people at BBC Essex.

You can also fill your boots with the BID’s Festive Food Trail. Spread across four flavour-filled days – Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th November – this is your chance to take your tastebuds on a culinary tour of the town.

There are sixteen establishments taking part – Annie’s Bar & Bistro, Birdwood Café (The Victoria Shopping Centre), The Dickens, Fisherman’s Wharf, East Coast Social, Gleneagles Guesthouse, Grosvenor Casino Restaurant, Il Pescatore, Legend Deli, Lemon Witch Kitchen, Molo Lounge, Revolution, Pizza Express, The Railway Hotel, The Royal Hotel and Wok & Go – offering a variety of Christmas and festive-themed dishes for Hank Marvin husbands, famished friends and peckish partners.

On Wednesday 29th November you really will know the ‘holidays are coming’ when you see the iconic Coca Cola Christmas Truck in Victoria Circus.

Complete with entertainment between 1pm and 9pm, this is your chance to ‘taste the feeling’ of Christmas with the world’s most recognised brand.

“I’m so excited, I can barely wait!” beams Southend BID Manager, Alison Dewey. “What’s not to love about Christmas?! Especially when there’s so much going on before you’ve opened a single present.

We’ve really invested in bringing a variety of fun and engaging events, activities and experiences to the High Street and seafront in the run up to Christmas.

Many of which are absolutely free to enjoy. In many ways, it’s the BID’s present to everyone and we’re inviting the whole of Southend to a massive party, the Big Switch On!”

For more information, click on www.visitouthend.co.uk/christmas, like the Facebook page VisitSouthendonSea or follow @VisitSouthend on Twitter.