Article by Elliott Hawkins: More than 20,000 people are expected to turn out for this year's Billericay Christmas Market, which is taking place on Sunday, December 2.
The market, run by the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower, holds 150 stalls offering a variety of crafts, hot and cold food, clothing and gifts.
There will also be two stages with live entertainment, fairground rides, a circus troupe and Santa's parade to keep visitors entertained throughout the day.
Last year the generosity of attendees and event sponsors at the market managed to raise £42,000 for a range of good causes.
Santa's Parade, which sets off from outside the Railway pub at 11am, will open the market this year.
Santa will arrive in style at the head of the parade before spending time in his free Grotto giving presents to the children.
A spokesperson for the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower said:
"Much of the market’s success is due to 12 months of painstaking preparation by the Rotary team helped by official organisations and an array of supporting groups. Basildon Council plus our operations team ensure the road is closed for the day, buses are diverted, car parking is set up and an elaborate safety regime is in place in the unlikely event of an emergency. A 3am-to-10pm Rotary team ensures that dozens of diversion signs and banners highlighting aspects of the market are installed and then cleared not long after the market closes. From the children’s fairground in the main car park to the two stages hosting a wide programme of entertainment by talented local performers, the accent is on fun while you shop for Christmas gifts."
Yvonne Kyndt, Mayflower Rotary vice-president, added:
“The club, having organised the event for more than 12 years, believes that this year’s market will be the best ever.”
Here's everything you need to know:
When is it?
Sunday, December 2 (10am-4pm)
Where is it?
Billericay High Street, Billericay, CM12 9AS
Is there food available?
There will be a variety of hot and cold festive food and drink on offer.
What time does Father Christmas arrive?
Santa will start his Parade at 11am outside the Railway pub, and he will then be in his Grotto for the rest of the day to meet the children.
Article by Elliott Hawkins, EssexLive