Christmas Lights Switch On Around Essex

Fireworks after Chelmsford Christmas lights

Fireworks after Chelmsford Christmas lights switch on in 2011

Soon High Streets across Essex will be switching on their Christmas Lights to mark the official start to the Christmas shopping season.

Many of the events include festive stalls, farmers markets, carol singing as well as celebrities and live music. Start the festive season and support your local shops!

If you want to see big celebrities you will need to head to Westfield or Lakeside.

Information from last year.

Brentwood Christmas Lights

This year’s event will take place on Saturday 1st December. It will be centred on Brentwood High Street with events from 12pm-6pm consisting of seasonal markets, entertainment and activities for all the family. Christmas lights will be switched on just after sunset.

Basildon Christmas Switch On

Basildon’s big switch on of its Christmas lights on Saturday, 24th November. From 3pm, lights switched on at 6pm. With rides, market stalls, a variety of live music and dance, and a fireworks display.

Bishop’s Stortford’s Christmas Lights Switch On

On Thursday, 15th November from 3.30pm there will be a two-hour celebration in North Street  which will include a range of entertainment

Chelmsford Moulsham Street Lights Switch-On

On Saturday 24th November, Moulsham Street will have its own Christmas Party with lights switch on. The festivities start at 11am and finish at 5pm. There will be Santa Claus, a Street Party, Music, Dancing and Stalls. Learn more on their website:

Colchester Christmas Lights

Colchester town centre lights will be switched on from the balcony of the Town Hall at 5.30pm on Saturday November 17th. Festive fun will be taking place around Culver Square and the Hogh Street during the day.

Halstead Christmas Lights

Halstead will be switching on its lights on Saturday, December 01, 2012, with the event starting at 4:30 pm and lasting for one hour. Mayor of Halstead, assisted by Santa Claus and some local children will switch on the Christmas light display in Halstead Public Gardens. There will be snow!

Hockley Christmas Lights

Hockley lights will be lit on Saturday, 24th November 2011 in Spa Road, Hockley. The event starts at 4pm and goes on until late. The lights switch on at around 6pm with a firework display to follow. There will be craft stalls, entertainment and fairground rides and Santa’s grotto. 100 children will sing Christmas carols.

Lakeside Christmas Launch

On Thursday 1st November Lakeside will launch the Christmas season with a FREE Santa’s grotto, a winter wonderland plus a parade with Christmas fairies, elves and Santa. The fun starts at 4pm and goes on until 8pm.

There will be plenty of fun FREE family activity all around the centre with Christmas music from a jazz band, free gifts for shoppers who take part in a photo challenge; a grand prize draw to win a hamper crammed full of toys; free face painting AND loads loads more!

Maldon Christmas Lights

On Saturday 3 Dec 2011 at 4pm will be the Lights Switch On. Church carols singers will walk up the High Street from St Mary’s Church at 4.15 arriving at All Saints’ Church for food and drinks. Following the switch-on of Christmas lights there will be a winter carnival parade along the High Street.

Ongar Epping Ongar Railway Christmas Lights Switch On

On Friday 7th December Santa will arrive by steam train before joining the Christmas parade down the High Street. There will be a funfair and carol singers, as well as late night shopping opportunities to get you into the Christmas spirit.

Rayleigh Christmas Lights

The lights will be switched on, on the High Street, Rayleigh, 4.00 – 6.30 pm on Thursday 29th November 2012.

South Woodham Ferrers

Saturday 17th November, 3.00 ~ 8.00 pm. – Christmas Fayre, including Christmas market stalls, music and entertainment from local acts in a huge variety show. The town’s seasonal lights will once again be turned on during the afternoon, and the Trinity Church will be holding their popular Christmas Bazaar.

Also there is Village Hall entertainment with Rita B & Ray Durrant – Worlds No. 1 Tribute Band ‘Counterfeit Quo’ at 7pm.

Southend High Street Christmas Spectacular & Lights Switch On

On Saturday 17th November, Southend-on-Sea Town Centre will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Father Christmas, live reindeer and fairytale characters will parade down High Street from Victoria Circus to the Royals Shopping Centre from 1pm. The big light switch on is at 5pm.  There will be a special Christmas Market, the Christmas Farmers and Craft Market. Fireworks at 5.30pm on Pier Hill – sponsored this year by Genting Club Westcliff. The event runs all day from 8.30am to 5.30pm and is of course all free! Also music and entertainment on the Spectacular Stage in Victoria Circus between 12.30pm – 3.30pm.

Waltham Abbey – Cavalcade of Light

There will be a Cavalcade of Light in Waltham Abbey town centre on Friday 30th November 2012. The evening starts at 7.15p, when the Christmas lights are switched on. There will then be a carnival style procession through the town, starting at the Cornmill Car Park and going through Market Square and along Sun Street, finishing at Darby Drive Car Park. Shops, pubs and cafes will be open, with stalls and entertainment throughout the town centre.

Still awaiting confirmation of dates: 

Chelmsford High Street Christmas Lights

Chelmsford High Street switches its lights on Sunday 27th November 2011. Celebrations start at 11am and go on until just after the lights ceremony at 5pm. There will be entertainment from BBC Essex, the cast of Civic Theatres’ production of Sleeping Beauty and street entertainers with a fireworks finale. Children are encourage to wear fancy dress with prizes for the best costumes.

Clacton Christmas Lights

Dates to be confirmed, but if like previous years the grand switch-on will take place on the same night as the late night shopping event, and there will be a full programme of entertainment.


Corringham will not be having its usual Christmas / winter fayre this year, but the lights are still going up!

Great Dunmow Switch On

Friday 2nd December 2011 in the market place Dunmow. From 6pm.

Hullbridge Christmas Lights

Hullbridge Christmas Lights will be turned on at the Riverside Primary School, Ferry Road on Saturday 3rd December 2011, event running from 4.15 – 5.30pm with lights on at 5.20pm.

Leigh-on-Sea Christmas Lights Switch On

Friday 25 Nov 2011 from 6.30pm. A Christmas celebration with a procession, fairground, stalls and entertainers. The famous Leigh Triangle – The Broadway, Broadway West and Rectory Grove will echo to the sound of music and carols.

Rochford Christmas Lights Event

The Rochford Christmas Lights Event will take place at Market Square on Friday 4th December from 12pm to 5.30pm.

  7 comments for “Christmas Lights Switch On Around Essex

  1. Helen McRedmond
    November 5, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    The days and dates for the Christmas lights switch-ons are mixed up. 14th & 28th November are Sundays, not Saturdays and the 22nd is a Monday, not a Sunday. Please correct this matter so we can turn up on the correct days/dates.
    Thank you!

  2. EssexPortal
    November 6, 2010 at 12:18 am

    sorry, these are 2009 dates. Will edit the article to make it clearer.

  3. November 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    The Great Dunmow Switch on isn’t there, it’s This Friday 2nd December in the market place Dunmow. From 6pm

  4. Paul
    November 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Why has Rayleigh not got a Y in it?

  5. EssexPortal
    November 11, 2012 at 11:55 am

    It does now.

  6. joe smith
    June 30, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    When is the info on this site going to be updated regarding the Christmas fairs and switching the lights on etc?

  7. EssexPortal
    June 30, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    It is a bit early Joe. When the various groups start announcing the dates we will update. You can always contact the group who organise your local event direct.

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