The big Christmas lights switch on in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire
One of the most exciting things in the lead up to Christmas is watching your home town twinkle into action with festive lights. Get ready to be dazzled with seasonal cheer, food and fun at one of Christmas light switch-ons in the East of England.
Christmas lights switch ons in Norfolk
Holt, 14 November, 6.30pm
The historic town will become a fairytale of lights as the community comes together to host a seasonal spectacular of festive food, fun and fireworks. www.holtchristmaslights.org
Norwich, 15 November 6pm-10pm
Watch the streets of Norwich sparkle and shine with live music and entertainment aplenty. There will also be a Father Christmas parade and the return of the Tunnel of Light. www.visitnorwich.co.uk
Burnham Market, 17 November, 10am-6pm
A whole day of entertainment, including live music, a Christmas market, Father Christmas, outdoor bars, food and more. www.burnhammarket.co.uk
North Walsham, 24 November, 2.30pm-7pm
The town will become a winter wonderland filled with festivities such as stalls, rides for children, food and drink and a visit from Santa.
Wells-next-the-Sea, 24 November
The annual Christmas Tide Festival will be a jam-packed day of entertainment taking place on Staithe Street, the Quayside and shopping thoroughfare. Local businesses will be decorating their stores with stalls set up outside in the lead up to the light switch on, followed by the traditional lantern parade down Staithe Street to The Quay where the crowds will assemble in readiness for Santa’s arrival by boat, the opening of his grotto and a fantastic fireworks display. www.wellschristmastide.org.uk
King’s Lynn, 25 November, 12pm-5pm
An afternoon of free festive entertainment, with the finishes touches of sparkle being applied.
Gorleston-on-Sea, 25 November
Spend an afternoon getting into the seasonal spirit with fair rides and attraction, before a firework grand finale.
Great Yarmouth, 30 November
Enjoy live music and entertainment with the switching-on of the town’s festive illuminations in the Market Place. It’s also the first day of town’s Christmas fayre, plus there’s late night shopping. www.gytcp.co.uk/events
Christmas lights events in Suffolk
Bury St Edmunds, 15 November, 3pm-8pm
Among the attractions will be mum and baby reindeer, The Snow Queen and friend, 40 charity stalls, fairground rides and hot food and drink stalls. Switching on the Christmas lights this year is Dr Liz O’Riordan, an inspiring local breast cancer surgeon who who has twice fought the disease herself, and who was recently the subject of a statue displayed in the town’s Abbey Gardens.
Ipswich, 22 November, 4.30pm-7pm
The evening will be filled with music and pantomime antics. Live MC’s take you through the build up until the light switch-on countdown at 6.45pm. www.ipswichentertains.co.uk
Southwold, 24 November, 2pm-7pm
Watch Father Christmas flick the switch on the coastal town’s Christmas lights from the Town Hall’s balcony. Festive stalls will line the high street.
Beccles, 30 November, 5.30pm-9pm
The evening will be filled with festive treats such as stalls, food and drink, live music and rides, and of course the big switch on. This year there will be a new and exciting trail throughout the town so make sure you stop by. beccleschristmaslights.co.uk
Lowestoft, 1 December
Highlights include the Lowestoft Players with their Christmas Spectacular, with lights being switched on around 5pm.
Felixstowe, 1 December, 5pm
Combined with a craft market, Santa’s grotto, carol singing and children’s candlight parade (starting at 4.40pm), the lights will be switched on by the Mayor on the event stage at the Triangle, Hamilton Road. www.felixstowe.gov.uk/events-attractions/christmas-in-felixstowe/
Cambridgeshire Christmas light switch on
Cambridge, 18 November
This year sees a blaze of twinkling new lights and schemes stretching across the entire city centre. Instead of a traditional Christmas tree, the centrepiece for the display will be a dazzling walk-through illuminated tree in Market Square. Festivities begin earlier in the day with carols and choirs to enhance your shopping experience. The lights will be switched on at 5pm by a top secret celebrity! The Grand Arcade, Lion Yard and The Grafton will additionally be hosting individual activities over the same weekend. www.cambridgebid.co.uk
Peterborough, 16 November, 4pm
Start your Christmas shopping accompanied by live music and watch the city turn on its festive lights at 7.30pm.
St Neots, 30 November, 5pm-9pm
Taking place in the Market Place, the lights will be switched on at 7.30pm, followed by a grand fireworks finale at 8.30pm! There’ll be carols under the Christmas tree, fire eaters, stilt walkers, mulled wine, magicians, reindeer and more. www.heart.co.uk/cambridge/events/st-neots-christmas-lights-switch/
Huntingdon, 29 November, 6pm
The Christmas light switch on kicks starts a three-day festive market.
Ely, 30 November
There will be craft and gift stalls and festive entertainment to accompany the switch on.
Christmas lights in Essex 2018
Braintree, 17 November, from 4pm
Family fun entertainment with the switch on taking place at 5.30pm.
Southend on Sea, 17 November, 7.30pm
The lights will be switched on with a spectacular firework display. www.visitsouthend.co.uk
Chelmsford, 18 November, 2pm-6pm
The entertainment kicks off from 2pm with the big switch on taking place outside the Shire Hall in Chelmsford City Centre, including fantastic music, all-round entertainment for all the family and a spectacular firework display viewed best from the Meadows Shopping Centre and Chelmsford town sign. www.chelmsford.gov.uk/christmas
Brentwood, 24 November, 12.30pm-6pm
The High Street will be closed for fun and festivities including live entertainment, stalls from local traders and fair ground rides, finishing with the light switch on at dark.
Saffron Walden, 25 November, 5-6pm
Father Christmas and the Mayor will be flicking the switch. www.visitsaffronwalden.gov.uk
Maldon, 29 November, 6pm-9pm
There will be late night shopping, choirs and a street market in the lead up to the switch on at 7pm.
Halstead, 1 December, 4.30pm
Expect a visit from Father Christmas and a snow machine to add to the festive fun.
Great Dunmow, 1 December
The big switch on will be accompanied by a Santa’s Grotto. www.visitgreatdunmow.co.uk/events.html
Christmas light switch on in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire
Watford, 10 November, 4.30pm-6pm
A seasonal spectacular has been organised by Watford BID, with entertainment, a new classic white lighting scheme and switch on finale featuring Radio One’s Chris Stark and Watford FC players. www.watfordbid.co.uk
St Albans, 18 November, 12noon – 6pm
The light switch on and entertainment will begin the city’s Christmas shopping season. www.enjoystalbans.com
Bedford, 22 November
Love Bedford and BedfordBID are responsible for the town centre entertainment full of festive fun followed by fireworks at 7pm. www.lovebedford.co.uk/christmas.php
Hertford, 23 November, 3.30pm-8pm
The annual Christmas Gala event will take place on Friday in the town centre with Christmas markets, street entertainment, a performance stage, petting reindeer, stalls, Christmas grotto and Christmas tree light switch on. www.hertford.gov.uk/events/hertford-christmas-gala-432/
Sawbridgeworth, 24 November, 4.30pm
The fun begins at Bell Street car Park with the switch on at 6.30pm.
Harpenden, 28 November, 12noon – 5pm
A spectacular event in Harpenden High Street, encompassing a carnival procession, charity stalls, a Farmers Market, fairground rides and festive shopping, all in the lead up to the switch on. www.harpenden.gov.uk/events-list
Ampthill, 28 November, 2.30pm
Crowds will gather in the Market Square for fun festive entertainment in the lead up to the switch on.
Ware, 7 December, 6pm-10pm
Enjoy the annual Dickensian event, which will feature the Christmas light switch on. www.dickensian.org.uk
Olney, 9 December, 10am-4pm
Taking place in conjunction with the hugely popular Dickens of Christmas event, there will be a whole day of festive fun.