THE Only Way is Essex Star Megan McKenna will perform as part of Colchester’s festivities.

Fenwick in the High Street has announced its plans for Project Christmas, including Santa’s arrival, community performers and, of course, the big light switch-on.

There will also be another festive projection on the side of the store.

The countdown to Christmas starts at 3.30pm next Sunday, November 25, when Santa will arrive on his festive float along with performers from The Nutcracker, Holly and Ivy stilt-walkers and reindeer.

The lights will be switched on at 5pm half an hour after Santa makes his grand entrance.

He will join Megan and Colchester mayor Peter Chillingworth to mark the start of the festive shopping season.

Sinead Archetti Scott, Fenwick’s head of communications, said: “Fenwick has long been synonymous with Christmas and we are again proud to be delivering the festive showcase and celebrating with our community here in Colchester.”

Santa and his elves will be in the Fenwick Christmas grotto in December.

Children will be able to meet him and receive a special Christmas present. The grotto will be in the toy department with ten bookable tickets per hour between December 18 and 24.

The Fenwick grotto will be open on weekdays and Saturdays between 9.30am and 4pm and 10.30am until 4pm on Sundays. Christmas Eve will see the grotto open between 9.30am and 2.30pm. Tickets are £8.50 and can be booked in advance via

Lion Walk will be starting their festivities on November 28, with a light switch-on and fireworks show.

It will take place at the Lion Walk church car park, from 5pm until 7pm, with performances from Theatretrain, Colchester Institute, and Santa himself.

Culver Square’s light switch-on will be the same day as Fenwick’s. From noon there will be festive entertainment with the lights being switched on at 5.20pm.

Performers include IlAZ Dance Company, Donovans Academy of Dance and Theatre Arts, Colchester Operatic Society and more.