Hundreds of people turned out to watch the big Christmas lights switch-on in Braintree at the weekend.

A host of activities were held in the town centre throughout the day, including live entertainment and a street market featuring more than 100 stalls.

The main lights were turned on at 5.30pm and saw the official launch of the festive season in the town centre.

Rob Ely, chairman of Braintree Town Partnership, described the day as “incredible” and says the town should expect similar events in the future which will help to draw in large crowds.

He said: “ It was always going to be hard for the council to improve on last year’s switch-on but they did it.

“There were more stalls, more people, more variety and slightly more lights.

“The entire town had the party spirit and it was great to see and experience everyone coming together.

“For the partnership this is a glimpse into the future.

“Saturday was clear evidence that it can be done – we are not dreaming.

“The entire town should be excited at what the future holds for Braintree, because this is just the start and what a starting point.”

Mr Ely added: “With pedestrianisation becoming a reality, the rejuvenation of the high street an inevitability, £30milion being ploughed into Manor Street, plus an ambitious partnership determined to support every positive effort, 2020 represents the start of something very special for Braintree town.”