IT is beginning to look a lot like Christmas after Clacton was lit up with hundreds of festive illuminations.

Fears were raised there would be no Christmas lights in town due to the lack of funding, but Tendring Council stumped up £20,000 to save the festive cheer.

The illuminated decorations, featuring five different festive designs, were put on 40 street lights along Pier Avenue and Station Road leading up to the town square.

Christmas lights are usually funded by the Clacton Town Centre Partnership, a non-profit group which promotes business and events in the town, but its fundraising events were hit due to the pandemic.

Luckily, a series of Christmas lights were installed in the town centre over the weekend, which brought back the festive spirit.

Along with the decorations, visitors also enjoyed a number of performances, including singing, dancing and theatre acts.

Thanks to Actual Radio, the event also benefited from professional host Dom Atkins, who ensured the programme was running smoothly throughout the day,

Graham Webb, chairman of the partnership, said: “Dom was an absolute diamond entertaining the kids.

“The Westcliff performers finished off the show and we had a number of singers. All the acts were brilliant.

“One particular young man, Liam Fitzgerald, who is a newcomer to us, was the star of the night. He was excellent.”

Entertaining audiences in the cold were also singer Tuppence and her five-year-old daughter Aurora Jackson.

The Clacton-based group CL Cheerleaders also made an appearance, while actors from the Princes Theatre’s panto Jack and the Beanstalk could be seen bringing laughter to audiences.

It was the cast of the panto who were tasked with switching on the lights at 5pm.

Mr Webb added: “We would like to say a particular thank you to all the performers who gave up their time for nothing to sing and play in the cold.

“We would also like to thank the two DJs entertaining everyone all day for us - Ronnie Windsor and Robert Prendergast.

“The square was packed leading up to the switch on in the evening and the lights came on looking perfectly good.”

Pictures: Steve Brading