Christmas spirit heads into Havering

RESIDENTS can get into the spirit of the festive season with a number of events planned in the run up to Christmas.

The Romford Christmas lights will be switched on in Romford Town Centre this coming Tuesday November 16 followed by the Elm Park illuminations on Friday November 26.

Staring from 4.30 to 7pm in Elm Park Town Centre, the event will include a free Santa’s grotto and two American miniature horses dressed for the occasion.

Guests can enjoy carousel rides, stilt walkers, jugglers, face painting and snow, whatever the weather.

Havering Mayor, Cllr Pam Light will be turning on the Christmas tree lights at 6pm surrounded by carol singers from Elm Park Primary School and local churches.

Christmas is also set to come to Harold Hill on Friday December 3 when the Christmas lights are switched on at the Hilldene Shopping Centre.

The event will include performances from Kryptic Fusion Dance Crew, the Havering Majorettes, face painting and a magician performing tricks.

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A children’s art workshop will be at Harold Hill Library from 3.30pm to 5pm.

Highlights of the event organised by the Rainham Association of Village Events (rave) include Morris dancing, a craft market and a nativity play.

The fayre begins with a procession from the war memorial to Upminster Road South led by the Royal Liberty Morris Dancers and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Melvin Wallace.

Santa will also be setting up his grotto in Rainham library for the event, which is free to attend.

On Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December the Upminster Christmas Festival will be taking place, from 2 to 7pm on Saturday and 10am to 3pm on Sunday.

There will be a treasure hunt, fairground rides and a craft fayre among the entertainment. Festive refreshments will be available and local bands will perform.

The event has been funded by independent traders and the local Waitrose store.

The Hornchurch Christmas Cracker will take place in the town centre on Friday 10 December with entertainment including a brass band, carol singing and circus skills performance.

The event, organised by Havering Council, runs from 3 to 7pm and will also include a performance entitled Saxaclaus by East Coast Wind, who will perform Christmas tunes of the saxophone.

Children can also get into the spirit in the lead-up to the event by taking part in a festive competition. Starting on Wednesday 1 December, 12 shops in the town centre will display a numbered Christmas cracker.

Children aged five to 11 must write the shop name by the correct number of the entry form, printed in Living newspaper on Tuesday 29 November.

Prizes include a BMX bike and pantomime tickets for the Queen’s Theatre.

The Mayor of Havering, Councillor Pam Light, said: “Christmas is a great time of year to spend time with family and friends and these events, taking place across the borough, are the perfect opportunity to get together, and get into the Christmas spirit.

“I hope lots of people go along and that everyone enjoys themselves.”