RESIDENTS combated the cold in order to enjoy the return of festivities to Halstead this weekend.

Saturday saw a number of Christmas celebrations which included the Christmas fayre and the lights switch-on.

It was the first time in nearly two years the festivities had come to Halstead with the pandemic axing events in 2020.

The Christmas fayre saw entertainment throughout the day as well as shopping stalls.

Residents put up with the bitter temperatures as Halstead welcomed the windy winter weather.

Halstead mayor Mick Radley said: “On Saturday Halstead started its Christmas celebrations with the Christmas Fayre and lights switch on in the Public Gardens.

"The Fayre included a full programme of entertainment throughout the day with both local and professional artists and entertainers.

"There were many stalls run by local organisations and traders selling food, drink and crafts.

"St Andrews Church ran their annual Christmas Tree Festival which attracted many imaginative tree exhibits from local organisations and businesses as well as providing welcome refreshments.

"Santa was also in town during the day entertaining the children.

"It was great to see so many people in the town and enjoying the events, despite the cold and windy weather.

"Our sincere thanks go to councillor Linda Smith and her small team of volunteers who organised and managed the Christmas Fayre which gave so much pleasure to many people.

"I’m so grateful to children from the three local Primary Schools who helped Santa with the switch on of the lights this year. Thanks also the Boxing Club for looking after the sleigh.

"Joining us for the switch on were Henry from Holy Trinity School, Orla from Richard De Clare School and Eleanor from St Andrews School.

"After a short sleigh ride from the town centre to the Public Gardens, Santa and his three helpers switched on the lights to brighten up the town and launch the Christmas festivities.”