THE countdown has begun for the first ever illuminated Christmas parade in Maldon.
With just days to go until the big event, on Saturday November 29, organisers are putting together the finishing touches to give children and the community a day to remember.
Combined with the big switch-on of the Christmas lights, the parade will line up in Highlands Drive ready to leave at 3.45pm.
John Haylock, chairman of the Maldon Carnival Association, said: “We have carnival queens from all over Essex and a Samba band to lead. I am absolutely looking forward to it.
“We have had a very good reaction from the schools and it has been very positive. It will be great for the kids and the community. Maldon Town Council has been very helpful indeed and Maldon District Council also marvellous.
“Lets get some support going and get the community involved.”
The parade will leave Highlands Drive and proceed along London Road before stopping outside All Saints’ Church at 4pm when Maldon’s town mayor David Denyer will be turning on the lights.
The parade will then continue down the High Street and finish at Lower Plume School car park.
Highlands Drive will be closed to traffic from about 2pm and then a rolling road block will be in place.
Maldon’s very own carnival queen, Louise, will be given pride of place in the procession with her princesses Kerry and Georgia.
Other entertainment on the day will include carols from the Plume School Jazz Band, a welcome and blessing by The Rev Canon David Atkins and much more.
Everyone is invited to come along and join in and it is hoped several schools will also be represented in the parade.
It is also hoped that High Street traders will be opening late for shopping that evening.
Mr Haylock said: “I wish to thank all the people, traders and organisations who by their generous help have made this event possible.”