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A look at this year’s stellar line-up for Southend Lights Switch On

05 Nov A look at this year’s stellar line-up for Southend Lights Switch On

There’s a whole host of free, live entertainment spread across eight hours at this year’s Southend’s Christmas Lights switch-on!

Starting from midday on Saturday 17 November, the High Street and seafront will be filled with music and tasty treats, topped off with a fabulous firework finale.

BBC Essex is hosting a stage in Royals Square and kick things off with a showcase of Southend’s up-and-coming young talent from noon. Check out young bands Lemonade Hand Grenade, baVard and the wonderfully-named Humbleslug, along with singers Devon Mead, Isabel Oliver and Lottie Mollica. There are dance acts and two very special performers; Charlie Dillon from the hit TV show Voice Kids UK and 2016 X Factor finalist, Lauren Platt.

Make sure you wrap-up warm and wear your finest bobble hat as there is a certain TV heartthrob you’ll want to impress….

As the build-up to the Big Switch On continues radio personality Dom Atkins takes to the Heart FM stage in Victoria Circus to introduce even more super-gifted local musicians and performers. At 1pm D’Ukes will take to the stage. Renowned as the finest ukulele band in the universe, don’t miss their versions of rock classics such as Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water.

Other acts on the Heart stage include Funky Voices, Jahnell, Adam Duffil, Nicola Collis and Karen Milner.

At approximately 4:25pm, Heart Essex stars Martin and Su will then take over to introduce an amazing line-up of acts; including Maxibrites, 2017 winner of Voice Kids UK Jess Folley, Charlie Dillon and up-and-coming teen pop group, Unify, before introducing the main star of the evening, X Factor finalist and heartthrob, Matt Linnen.

Martin, Su and Matt will be joined by Southend’s other mane man, Ryan the Lion from The Royals Shopping Centre to lead the crowd in the traditional count-down in anticipation of Southend’s famous High Street dramatically illuminating in the new silver and gold colours of its incredible new lighting display.

You’ll be sure to find a unique gift in the Christmas Market, with a range of beautiful gifts from local craftspeople available along the High Street. Alternatively, keep the cold out with a hot snack from one of the stallholders in the Farmers’ Market. There will also be plenty of producers offering all manner of delicious delights to stock up your fridges, freezers and cupboards with.

The Victoria Shopping Centre is offering its visitors a variety of different activities, including free Aladdin-themed crafts – in honour of this year’s panto at the Cliffs Pavilion theatre.

Meanwhile, The Royals Shopping Centre is positioning its Royal Footmen at the entrances to give away free candy canes, crowns and other free goodies.

Inside The Royals, the centre’s Little Royalty Club is hosting free face painting, arts and crafts workshops, singing, games, a chance to stroke and meet a ‘polar bear’ and there’s a special post box for children to post their letters to Santa.

Bringing the day to a spectacular close will be a dazzling firework display at 7:30pm. The beautifully choreographed show will, be set to music by those clever people at BBC Essex. So, make sure you head down to City Beach to catch the last seafront fireworks of the year.