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 24th November

Where: Wickford High Street

Entry: Free but donation encouraged to go towards Christmas lights and event. If you want to donate online, visit our GoFundMe page.

Time: 12-5pm. Catch the Christmas Opening Parade from 12pm! Santa, 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

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 and includes appearances from X Factor’s Che Chesterman and The Voice Kids’s Charlie Dillon – click here for Main Stage timings. Acts will also be performing in the Willows Centre.

Carol Singing: Takes place 4.30-5pm - it’s really wonderful as the night draws in.

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

Kid’s things to do: Rides in the car park next to the Wickford Community Centre, games, and Santa in Glicks!

Photo opportunities: Have your photo taken in the snow globe, on Santa’s sleigh and with the fire engine

Food and drink: Chestnuts, doughnuts, 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

A huge thank you to sponsors, volunteers and backers - we couldn’t do this without you

See you on the 24th November!

Plan your travel!

Walking is the easiest way to get to the street fair if you live in Wickford, but if you need or 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 in place, so please bear those in mind if you plan to drive!

ROAD CLOSURES

Wickford high street and part of Market Road will be closed for the event 7am - 7pm on Sunday 24th 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!

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.

BUSES / TRAINS

Buses: Usual Sunday services are running. We are in discussion with NIBS to provide a bus service from The Wick.

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: Works continue on the railway line, so rail replacement buses are running between Southend and Shenfield.

Singing stars coming to Wickford at Christmas Street Fair!

We’re excited to announce X Factor star Che Chesterman will be singing on our stage!

Our line-up also includes Charlie Dillon, who appeared on The Voice Kids’ last year, and a host of local talent.

The Main Stage is in the centre of the high street near Costa - find the schedule here.

We’ll also be joined by Cadenza Brass Band, Runwell School Choir and more in the Willows Centre!

Wickford's Christmas crowdfund gets underway

Every year we need £15,000 just to put up Wickford's Christmas lights display, store the lights and run the popular Wickford at Christmas Street Fair. We rely on donations from the public, charitable grants and sponsorship from local businesses to raise these funds. A team of 12 local volunteers work year-round to put this all together.

Last year we raised £4,000 in our collection buckets which will go towards this year's activities, but we still need just over half of the money.

We need funds asap. To purchase any new lights we'd need the funds by the end of August. 

The Wickford at Christmas Street Fair is Sunday 24th November - RSVP on the Facebook event here. This has become a great annual event for our town and it’s a fun-packed day with lots of gift, food and drink stalls, Santa, local entertainment and more. We will need funds to cover all the health and safety and legal procedures that have to be in place as well as pay for the lights display to go up in time for the event.

We'd love to spend more on new lights. In 2018 we bought 10 new lights for the high street but we would love to have some more new lights each year to add to the display, each is around £1,000. But we also need to fund the maintenance of some posts, for instance there are 36 lampposts in the High Street that we need to renew and replace lights and lightboxes for, which work out at approx £800-900 each. 

There are various ways to donate and help

  1. Donate on our GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/wickford-at-christmas-2019

  2. Collection boxes in these high street shops - 2Dam Glam Boutique, Arches Barbers, Chris DIY Store, Emblem, Glicks Opticians, Headlines Hairdressing Essex, Maplefords, Mem's Kitchen, Mi Chica Boutique, Michael Frank Jewellers and Wickford Garage

  3. Businesses can advertise at the Street Fair from reasonable rates and packages include social media and online advertising too. Find out more by emailing info@wickfordatchristmas.co.uk or contacting us on Facebook

  4. We’re also looking for volunteers to help on the day, even if it’s just for a couple of hours. Email info@wickfordatchristmas.co.uk.

6 benefits of volunteering: Volunteers Week

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It’s Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) which celebrates all of the good work people make up and down the country to support causes and charities.  

Wickford is full of wonderful volunteers that help across various events and causes, from the Wickford Wombles and Rotary Club to sports teams, children’s clubs and charity initiatives.

Wickford’s Christmas activities are also run by volunteers. The Christmas high street lights display only gets put up and stored away each year because of a group of 12 individuals who give up their spare time all year to get funding and procedures in place.

They also organise the Wickford at Christmas Street Fair, which requires another group of Wickford residents to help on the day itself. Their tasks include setting up barriers; setting up stall holders in the high street; manning the activities; collecting money in the buckets and more. 

We’re always on the look out for more help.

Need some convincing? Here are some of the benefits of volunteering with us, although many apply to other volunteer roles too

It’s fun! The Christmas Street Fair kicks off the festive spirit in Wickford and it’s great to be a part of the team that pulls it off 

You meet new people. Not only are there other volunteers helping out who you’ll meet but you’ll be interacting with other Wickford residents  

You’re part of a community effort. It feels good to be part of something positive for our town  

Make a difference. Whatever task you do, you are helping put on a fantastic event and experience for the people of Wickford and any money raised helps us on our way to do the same next year  

Learn new skills and gain confidence. It might seem a little daunting but we’ll give you the training and enthusiasm needed to get out there and do the best you can 

It looks good on your CV. Adding a volunteering role makes you stand out and gives you extra experience to talk about 

Interested in volunteering with us?

Click here to join the Wickford at Christmas Volunteers Team Facebook page to find out more or email wickfordatchristmas@gmail.com.  

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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

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: 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: Lights management and event 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: David Harrison

WAC role: Programme preparation and lights management

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: 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.

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Name: Amanda Greenwood

WAC role: Social media and website

Day job: Marketing specialist

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…

Name: Linda Harrison

WAC role: Treasurer

Name: Andy Bartlett

WAC role: Arranging entertainment

Name: Peter Towler

WAC role: Volunteers management

Name: Michael Hill

WAC role: Business liaison

Name: Dawn Hutson

WAC role: Secretary

Name: Rosie Beecher

WAC role: Rotary Club liaison

Name: Michael Mowe


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.