BRAINTREE’S Christmas lights party is back!

Braintree Council says the big switch-on will return to the real world after last year’s virtual event.

The party will take place on Saturday, November 20.

It will kick off the start of exciting festive celebrations in the district, with not only the big switch-on of the lights, but also the popular street market, live entertainment and children’s activities.

Radio Essex will be hosting the festive entertainment for the day, with live music from talented local singers and school choirs.

The big switch-on is at 5.30pm in the Market Place outside Tesco.

The street market will be making a return with more than 50 stalls across the town centre, where visitors will be able to pick up a variety of items, from handmade jewellery to Christmas decorations and more.

There will be plenty of stalls selling gourmet street food and festive drinks.

Children’s rides and street performers provide extra fun.

There will also be free entry to Braintree Museum and its space exhibition, family photo shoots and face painting at Braintree Town Hall, and a chance to meet Christmas characters in George Yard Shopping Centre.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, last year’s events were marked virtually with online content, but previous light switch-on events have seen thousands of families and friends attend.

Council economic growth boss Tom Cunningham said: “We’re really pleased we are able to welcome back our annual Braintree Christmas light switch-on which will be a day full of fun entertainment and activities for the family and a chance to shop and support local with our fantastic businesses, to help them bounce back from the impacts of COVID.

“We hope to see lots of people in the town centre to join in with the festive celebrations.”

Visitors are encouraged to follow the latest government Covid-19 guidance at the event.

This currently includes wearing a face covering in crowded spaces, getting tested before attending and self-isolating if required or if you are symptomatic.