Christmas festivities kick off in Great Dunmow

A crowd for Dunmow's Christmas Lights 2017

Dunmow's Christmas Lights in 2017 - Credit: Saffron Photo

Fill Great Dunmow with Christmas cheer this winter, town leaders have urged.

The Mayor of Great Dunmow has said he is ready for Christmas to kick-off at the Great Dunmow Christmas Market, which takes place from 2pm on Saturday (November 27).

The event is set to include two live music stages, more than 60 stallholders offering gifts and food by local makers, Christmas crafts at the library, face painting, reindeer food making, and Santa's Grotto will be in Angel Lane.

The Mayor, Councillor Patrick Lavelle wants residents to "celebrate together" this season at the market and by shopping at independent Dunmow businesses.

Great Dunmow Round Table Elves

Great Dunmow Round Table Elves in 2016: Steve Eccles, Sean Pledger, Alex Rom, Martin Ball, Anthony Thomas and Lisa Worby - Credit: Celia Bartlett Photography

He said: "I hope winter will be a time when everyone can enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas with friends and family, when we can enjoy all the celebrations in our beautiful market town."

He added: "The High Street is an important part of what makes our town special.

"Following a difficult year-and-a-half, it is important that we support the shops and enjoy the very best of what Dunmow has to offer."

No Limits perform at Dunmow Christmas lights switch-on 2017

No Limits at Dunmow's Lights Switch-On 2017 - Credit: Saffron Photo

The Great Dunmow Town Team, which is organising the market, has called on residents to "Enjoy Local" this Christmas.

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They are set to launch two new tote bags at the event to celebrate the campaign.

Rachael Clark of the Great Dunmow Town Team said: "The Christmas Market will be a great opportunity to 'Enjoy Local'.

"We have so many lovely shops and cafés, but a lot of people bypass us because they think there's more out there.

"Good food and gift shopping?

"We need to put Dunmow on the map!"

Rachael added that the Town Team is keen to "keep up the momentum" after a successful Summer Market in August, which featured MasterChef: The Professionals 2020 winner Alex Webb.

Alex Webb, from MasterChef: The Professionals, at Great Dunmow's Summer Market 2021

Alex Webb, MasterChef: The Professionals winner, at the Great Dunmow Summer Market 2021 - Credit: Saffron Photo

Town councillor Alan Stratton, who co-owns Chameleon Café on Market Place, said: "Dunmow is prospering as far as I'm concerned.

"The High Street is growing because residents believe in the town, and we need to keep that momentum going.

"I'm hoping for a safe and positive Christmas!"

There is no light switch-on event to avoid crowding this year, but the lights will be illuminated for the market.

After the market, the Live Nativity takes place in the town centre on Sunday, December 5.