Saturday sees the launch of the Brightlingsea Christmas Lights Trail - a community event made with the help of local organisations and residents.
The Trail takes in lights around the town and ends at the Hard, where there's a collection of Christmas trees, specially-made lights and even a Santa's grotto (note that due to Covid restrictions, it's not a 'real' Santa, but one hand-crafted by members of the Colne Yacht Club). Over the weekends of December 12 & 13 and 19 & 20 there'll be a display of lights in the churchyard at All Saint's Church, completing a Trail that will run from one end of town to the other.
In between the two venues you can wander past the Christmas light displays put on by over 100 residents and local businesses, as well as the usual town centre lights. You can find the locations of the lights on this page, along with a map to help you plan your route. You can also find information about the event and others, including the Advent Windows displays, in the Brightlingsea at Christmas guide, which has been delivered to all households in the town. If you haven't had one, you can download a copy here.
The lights on the Hard will be shining after dusk from this Saturday, December 5, until January 2. Visitors are reminded to adhere to Covid restrictions by staying in family groups and observing social distancing. The grotto will be on show day and evening under the Yacht Club, though if the weather is bad, Santa may take shelter. Parking in the Oyster Tank Road car park is recommended, particularly as there are some high tides expected in the middle of the month!
Main sponsors of the event include Essex Cement Ltd, Orsted, NMR, Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners, Brightlingsea Town Council and Pure Lake with contributions from James Lawrence Sail Makers, White Formula, Colne Smack Preservation Society, the Shipwrecked Mariners Charity, Morgan Marine, French Marine Motors, Brightlingsea Sailing Club, University Sailing Club and CB Rigging.
Next weekend would have seen the very popular Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival taking place, but although this has been cancelled due to Covid, anyone who would normally have entered a decorated tree can still do so in the Virtual Christmas Tree Festival – more details here. You can also make a donation to Festival funds from the page, with funds going to support All Saints' church.