OLYMPIC gold medal-winner Bethany Shriever turned on the charm again at Braintree's Christmas lights switch-on at the weekend.

The event was held on Saturday after last year’s virtual switch-on.

The all-day spectacular involved shops and stalls, festive food and drink, and the big lights switch-on.

READ MORE - Popular food chain apply for new restaurant near shopping village

There was live music and entertainment from singers and school choirs, and Olympic BMX gold medallist Bethany Shriever paid a visit to the event as special guest.

Saturday was also the first day of the free gingerbread trail, which is running until December 20.

Braintree and Witham Times: Lights: George Yard Shopping Centre lit up for Christmas (PAUL STARR Photographer)Lights: George Yard Shopping Centre lit up for Christmas (PAUL STARR Photographer)

Braintree Council economic growth boss Tom Cunningham 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.”

Braintree Council says it received positive feedback from 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 we loved our time at the Christmas lights switch-on.

“It was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves and getting festive.”

There are two more Saturday Christmas street markets lined up for December 4 and December 18.

Christmas lights switch-on events take place in Halstead on Saturday, November 27, and Witham on Saturday, December 4.