Essential information for Wickford at Christmas Street Fair

 Amazing Mrs Claus at last year’s fair. Credit: Tina Wing Photography

Amazing Mrs Claus at last year’s fair. Credit: Tina Wing Photography

Not long ‘til the Wickford at Christmas Street Fair!

There are programmes around Wickford but if you’ve not seen one yet, here’s everything you need to know all in one place.

When: Sunday 25th November - this weekend!

Where: Wickford High Street

Entry: Free but donation encouraged to go towards Christmas lights and event

Time: 12-5pm. Catch the Christmas Opening Parade from 12pm! Santa, stilt walkers, characters and dancers will make their way from the station bridge down the high street.

Getting there: Walking is best but there are bus options! Some car parks will be closed. For road closure / travel information read our blog here

The hashtag: #wickfordatchristmas (we’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!)

Santa’s Grotto: After the parade children can visit Santa in his grotto at Glicks Opticians

Reindeer: Read our statement on why reindeer are no longer at the event.

Stalls: There are more than 50 stalls with items from beer gift sets, Lego and log creations to Christmas decorations and bags. Click here to see the full list

Entertainment: Singing kicks off at midday – click here for Main Stage timings. There will also be performances in the Willows Centre, Halls Corner and the railway bridge. Stick around for carol singing at 4.30!

Games and challenges: There’s plenty of games on the stalls including the Essex Royals FC challenge, Santa Bell game, Lucky Numbers and a tombola on the Wickford at Christmas stall

Kid’s things to do: Children’s crafts are in Wickford Community Centre on Market Road and there are rides in the car park next to it!

Lost and found wristbands for children will be available on the Wickford at Christmas stall.

Food and drink: Chestnuts, donuts, sweets, cakes, hog roast, German sausage, mulled wine, beer, cocktails, prosecco and many more treats are all offered on the stalls

First Aid is near the railway bridge

Thank you to our Main Sponsor Michael Frank Jewellers and all the other businesses that have sponsored and supported the lights and event! There’s a blog about them here or you can see their names below :). A huge thank you to all the volunteers helping us on the day too and to all that have supported our efforts.

See you on the 25th November!

Our statement on reindeer at the street fair

Wickford at Christmas has decided to cancel the reindeer appearance at the Street Fair on 25th November. This has been a difficult decision for the committee to make as we know people love to see the reindeer and they are a big draw to visiting the market.

However, there have been many stories in the press recently about the treatment of reindeer in centres and as this is currently a delicate matter we had to carefully consider the welfare of the animals and safety of all those attending the event.

We hope you understand and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday where we will still have a fantastic event with Santa’s Grotto, 50+ gift, food and drink stalls, entertainment in the high street and Willows Centre, children's rides, crafts and more.

Meet the Committee

Wickford volunteers work year-round to ensure our town’s Christmas lights display and street market take place. Tasks range from council paperwork, stall allocation and logistics to keeping track of funds, scheduling entertainment and preparing promotional material such as our programme and social media. Without them Wickford would have no Christmas lights display or event.

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Name: Eunice Brockman

WAC role: Chair and organising entertainment

Day job: Company director/consultant

How long have you lived in Wickford? 16 years

What do you love most about Christmas? Food and drink, and seeing my family

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Name: Graham Bradley

WAC role: Treasurer/event site supervisor

Day job: Project manager in telecoms

How long have you lived in Wickford? 42 years

What do you love most about Christmas? Food and drink!

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Name: Danielle Hunt

WAC role: Exhibitions manager

Day job: Director of a POS manufacturer

How long have you lived in Wickford? All my life!

What do you love most about Christmas? The Christmas spirit…and mulled wine

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Name: Alan Ball

WAC role: Council liaison and event site supervisor

Day job: Work for BT

How long have you lived in Wickford? 50 years

What do you love most about Christmas? Getting everyone together

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Name: Linda Hopkins

WAC role: Volunteer organiser and secretary

Day job: I retired early. I'm now able to help with school runs, childcare and act as social and financial director for my mum who has vascular dementia as well as doing the things I love.

How long have you lived in Wickford? I moved to Wickford in February 2016 from South London so I would be near my daughter and her family.

What do you love most about Christmas? I love spending time with my family at Christmas. And the Doctor Who special!

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Name: Maria Cooper

WAC role: Council liaison, general communication, and sponsorship

Day job: Retired now, previous job in marketing for Lakeside Shopping Centre.

How long have you lived in Wickford? Three years.

What do you love most about Christmas? Christmas songs and carols, and best of all the laughter and fun with my family at the table during Christmas dinner.

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Name: David Harrison

WAC role: Programme preparation

Day job: Retired

How long have you lived in Wickford? 48 years

What do you love most about Christmas? Enjoying it!

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Name: Amanda Greenwood

WAC role: Social media and website

Day job: Business travel journalist

How long have you lived in Wickford? All my life

What do you love most about Christmas? Definitely all about food, family and friends! Christmas ham, pigs in blankets, lots of chocolate, Baileys…

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Name: Amy Langmead

WAC role: I support the committee and event with the entertainment and production management.

Day job: I am myself a professional entertainer; I do this solo, in a duo and I have my own band (that you will see perform on the day of the event). We perform at weddings and corporate events locally, in London and even internationally. Such good fun!

I also own and run Pink Vanilla Events, an event and entertainment planning company. As well as planning private events we have our own such as the renowned ‘Pink Stilleto Nights’ and our newest addition of ‘Tipsy Tea Parties’.

How long have you lived in Wickford? I’ve lived here since I was a young teenager, I say as I reminisce of the days of Bubbles bar!

What do you love most about Christmas? EVERYTHING! I should have been brought up in the North Pole as an elf!

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Name: Michael Stapleton

WAC role: Business liaison

Day job: Owner of Michael Frank Jewellers

What do you love most about Christmas? Christmas is one of my favourite times of year and my enthusiasm for the festive season is catching! I love Christmas decorating and being with my family.


Want to do your bit and join our committee?

You might be a great salesperson who could help generate sponsorship from local businesses or you might be an enthusiastic fundraiser. Let us know what you could bring to the team!

We meet monthly on a weeknight and more often closer to the build-up to the street fair.

Get in touch! Email info@wickfordatchristmas.co.uk.

Plan your travel!

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Walking is the easiest way to get to the street fair if you live in Wickford, but if you would prefer to use transport or if you’re further afield you may want to consider bus options.

We use several car parks for the event and there are road closures and roadworks in place, so please bear those in mind if you plan to drive!

ROAD CLOSURES / WORKS

Wickford high street and part of Market Road will be closed for the event 7am - 7pm on Sunday 25th November. The high street will be closed from the railway bridge down to Halls Corner and stalls will be in Market Road up to the library.

We advise that you do not park in the high street overnight on Saturday 24th November as event set-up starts early and it will be difficult to move your car!

Remember there are roadworks on the junction of Lower Southend Road (near Maplefords and Pisces) which may also cause traffic problems.

CAR PARKS

Two car parks will be out of use as our 50+ stallholders will be parked in the Ladygate Centre car park (behind Cosson’s and Prezzo) and there will be rides in the car park next to the community centre.

Please also avoid parking in these overnight.

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BUSES

NIBS Buses is kindly running a free service to/from The Wick to the Street Fair. A £1 donation is recommended - please give your thanks to NIBS for providing this fantastic service!

The timetable is below - please be patient if it’s late, it will get to you!

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If you are travelling from outside of Wickford the number 25 bus from Southend to Basildon is the one you need - get off near The Swan pub.

TRAINS

A revised timetable is running between Southend - Billericay. Replacement buses are running between Billericay and London - check the Greater Anglia website for more information.



Get with the programme

Programmes for the Wickford at Christmas Street Fair are now available in these shops and community centres.

  • Britannia Fish & Chips

  • CLC

  • Chris DIY (High Street and Southend Road)

  • Co-op

  • Darby Digger

  • Mi Chica Boutique

  • Nevendon News

  • Pastels 2 Paint

  • Sutton’s

  • Temme English

  • Train station

  • Wickford Diner

  • Wickford Cafe

  • Wick Community Centre

  • Wickford Community Association

  • Wickford Library

  • WH Smiths

They have also been distributed to students at these schools

  • Grange Primary School

  • Hilltop Junior School

  • Oakfield Primary School

  • Runwell Community Primary School

  • Wickford C of E School

  • Wickford Primary School

  • Beauchamps High School

To view the programme online click on the image below.

Wickford businesses support Christmas lights and fair

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Every year businesses in Wickford and nearby sponsor the town’s lights and fair. A festive display and event wouldn’t happen without them (and your donations)! We hope you pop into their businesses or take a look at their websites to show your appreciation.

This year we’re thrilled that Michael Frank Jewellers has signed up to be our main sponsor!

They are joined by our gold sponsors Temme English, Clay Ratnage Strevens and Hills Accountants and Kip McGrath.

Countryside is a silver sponsor this year, while our bronze sponsors are Co-Op Food, SBZ Corporation and Assesmont Steel Fabrication.

Bourn Hall has also kindly sponsored Santa Claus whose grotto will be at Glicks Opticians in the high street!

There are also numerous businesses that we have to say a huge thank you to for helping us out

  • Pastels 2 Paint for helping us in so many ways we’ve lost count!

  • Westway Travel for promoting the Street Fair on its screens

  • NIBs for running the bus service to/from The Wick (discretionary £1 donation) View bus timetable and travel notices here

  • Wickford Community Centre for providing the hall for children’s crafts

  • Co-Op Funeralcare for providing refreshments for volunteers

  • Ellays Disco for compering our main stage

  • Tina Wing Photography for providing photos

And let’s not forget all the businesses that have taken adverts in our programme or agreed to display the programme and/or donation boxes in their shops. Click here to find out where you can pick up a copy

Aviva Community Fund: what is it?

Wickford at Christmas could receive a grant of up to £10,000.

We’ve been shortlisted in the Aviva Community Fund, which this year is supporting 500 projects across the UK over four levels and three categories (Environment, Skills for Life and Health & Wellbeing).

We ended the public voting stage on 2,463 votes and it has now gone through to a judging round. The finalists will be announced on 27th November, so we’re keeping everything crossed! The winners will then be announced in late January 2019. Click here to find out more

It would be a big boost for us to get this extra money as our town’s Christmas lights and street fair are funded by the community and local businesses. We would use the grant to put funds towards next year’s display and lights.

The weather outside is delightful…

We know many of you are thinking about your summer holidays…

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But we're excited as there's only six months to Christmas and five months 'til the Wickford at Christmas Street Fair!

Christmas is always somewhere in the minds of the committee members as we work year-round to organise and raise funds for the street fair and lights.

What we’ve been up to

  • Visiting local councils to hear about funding opportunities
  • Meeting with businesses in Wickford and nearby to generate support and donations
  • Securing the permits and facilities to make the event happen
  • Gathering stall and entertainment requests
  • Updating and refreshing the pages on our website including a 2017 photo gallery

Funding update

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It takes £4,000 to put up the Christmas lights in Wickford every year and around £9,000 to put on the street fair event. We receive some money from the council and groups but the rest comes from donations and sponsorship made by local residents and businesses.

We can buy new lights if even more money is raised!

If you can help in any way, please click here to donate or click here to look at sponsorship options

Keep in touch

The best way to get updates is to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or on Instagram. You can RSVP to the event on Facebook here.

Our About Us page has been updated with FAQs but if you have any other questions don't hesitate to contact us.

Look out for our future blogs about what's on, entertainment and stalls in the run up to Sunday 25th November!

Happy Holidays!