Brentwood celebrated the countdown to Christmas on last Saturday 24th with their spectacular lighting up Brenwood festive event.
Brentwood Borough Council hosted its festive event in and around the High Street where visitors enjoyed festive food and drink, entertainment and took the opportunity to start their Christmas shopping at the many stalls selling crafts and gifts.
Around 15,000 people visited the High Street to join in the Christmas fun.
The day officially started with a Santa Parade where he was pulled on his sleigh from St Thomas’ Road to his grotto, hosted by Brentwood Rotary Club, at the Sugar Hut.
Santa was followed by some familiar characters and dancers, courtesy of Razzamataz Theatre School.
Entertainment on the 3 stages was hosted by Churches Together in Brentwood and featured local talent throughout the day.
There were performances to enjoy from choirs, soloists, schools and performing arts groups. The main event was the official Christmas lights switch on at 5pm by the Mayor of Brentwood, Councillor Sheila Murphy and the two winners of the Christmas Card and Christmas Poetry competition.
Street performers entertained the crowds; they included a Fairy Godmother on stilts, the Black Eagles acrobatic troupe from Tanzania, The Lost Reindeer, Fred the Christmas Tree, a Dickensian Ding Dong, some walking light-up Christmas presents and Captain Jack Sparrow.
A number of small rides were at the event for younger children and the annual town centre Santa Hunt competition started on the day, with businesses across the High Street, Crown Street and Ropers Yard participating. This will continue until 16 December, and forms can still be collected from Chicken and Frog.
Mayor of Brentwood, Councillor Sheila Murphy, said: “Lighting Up Brentwood is the biggest event of the year and really marks the official start to Christmas. I really enjoyed the event and being part of it. I must thank Katie Bailey and Mollie Wright the winners of my Christmas Card competition for joining me on stage and helping me to turn the lights on!
“I must also give a big thank you to our sponsors The Beeches Signature Care Home, Brentwood Razzamataz, Brentwood Live and A Matter Group. We would also like to thank Baytree Centre, Grace and Rose Estate Agents, St Thomas’ Church, the Conservators of Shenfield Common, Brentwood Community Transport, the Sugar Hut and the many volunteers and staff who helped steward the event.”