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  • Writer's pictureSouthend BID

Christmas switch-on extravaganza

In 2021, due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, Southend City BID hosted 12 smaller Christmas events to celebrate the festive period. Now, they are delighted to announce the return of their annual big Christmas switch-on; a day-long event filled with performances by local groups, buskers, special guests, and more. This celebration marks an exciting beginning to Southend’s iconic winter festivities.

On the 19th of November 2022 from midday onwards, amazing performances and entertainment will fill Southend High Street. BBC Essex will be hosting Southend City BID’s main stage, bringing an eclectic variety of local community groups to the forefront of this celebration. From flamenco dancers to vibrant steel Caribbean drums, this will make for a truly unmissable day.

The Music Man Project will be hosting a festive sing-along in the lead up to the actual switch on – with lyrics on the big screen – giving you no excuse but to join in! The culmination to this fantastic day of celebrations will be the switching on of the Christmas lights – followed by the last of this seasons’ seafront firework displays.

During the day there are a number of

other exciting Southend City BID Christmas activities for you to enjoy. For example, their hugely popular ‘Come as Yourself, Leave as an Elf’ trail will be revived, with children slowly transforming into elves by visiting stations located in BID Zone businesses. This trail will end with children meeting Father Christmas at The Ironworks Santa’s Workshop, making for a wonderfully magical experience. Meanwhile, Southend BID’s artisan craft market will be located near the railway bridge in the centre of the High Street, with a number of local creatives trading at the event. We will also see the return of The Southend Art Trail which launches on the same day and will be showcasing the talent of our creative community until the 5th of January. This year’s theme: ‘Our Community’.

Discussing their decision to host a sensational Christmas switch-on extravaganza, Southend City BID’s Manager, Suzanne Gloyne, says:

‘Southend is known to host incredible Christmas events and we find great joy in creating life-long memories during the festive period. As restrictions have now eased, we were determined to bring back our fantastic day-long switch on event, filled with uplifting performances and great entertainment. We know this will be a popular and enjoyable day, bringing locals and visitors alike together as we celebrate our city being beautifully decorated for Christmas.

We are also thrilled to be hosting an artisan market and The Southend Art Trail again this year; we felt there would be no better way to launch these events than during our iconic switch-on celebration. I hope everyone enjoys all that we have planned during this festive season.’

David Stanley, Founder of The Music Man Project, adds:

‘I’m delighted that The Music Man Project will once again lead wonderful local choirs in the Big Singalong for the Christmas lights switch-on. It is such a joyous occasion and a fantastic way to start the festive season!’

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