The Christmas festivities have officially begun in Havering.
Thousands of Havering residents took to Romford Market Place on Thursday 18 November to celebrate the Christmas lights switch-on event, the first since 2019 – due to the pandemic impacting last year’s festivities.
Thousands of spectators came out to watch the evening entertainment, with families and children having fun.
The main stage was once again hosted by Time 107.5FM’s Mark Dover and provided performances from local artists including Razzamataz Theatre School, 4tune – a four piece vocal band and vocalist Jasmine Somer as seen on BBC’s Little Mix – The Search.
Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Brookside Theatre showcased a preview of their Christmas pantos – a tradition at the Romford lights switch on.
Special guests Big Brovaz and Booty Luv headlined the show – courtesy of two R and B vocalists’ from both groups’ original line-ups delivering their chart-topping hits.
They were joined on-stage by special guest TOWIE star Saffron Lempriere, who is originally from Hornchurch – and life-long fan of the Romford Christmas lights switch on.
A full cast of colourful characters turned up to celebrate with the crowds, including Queen Elsa and Princess Anna from Disney’s Frozen, Toy Story’s Woody, Buzz and Jessie, and Father Christmas himself.
The show concluded with a spectacular fireworks finale and the lights switch-on, initiated by Mayor of Havering, Councillor John Mylod.
Mayor John Mylod, said: “Switching on the Christmas lights marks the start of the festivities in Havering, and it really feels it’s back in a big way following last year’s Covid-19 restrictions.
“I would like to thank all the performers for giving us such a fantastic show, our sponsors for making this possible, and everyone who came out to share this special night.”
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “It was a pleasure joining thousands of people in welcoming in the festive period with the Romford Christmas lights switch-on.
“It was also wonderful to have so many residents back together after having to cancel last year’s event.
“I thank everyone for remaining vigilant during the event, and remembering that coronavirus is still with us.”
The event for 2021 was sponsored by the Romford Business Improvement District (BID) and Marlborough Highways, and supported by Time FM and Razzamataz Theatre Schools. As part of our pledge to support local businesses and residents, all Council-owned carparks offered free parking for the event.
The lights switch-on in Romford kick starts a number of switch-ons and events taking place across the borough in the run-up to Christmas. Find out more about upcoming events by visiting www.havering.gov.uk/christmas