SANTA and live reindeer will be joined by fire performers and fireworks to make sure Southend’s Christmas lights switch-on goes with a bang.

A festive family fun day with fireworks over the estuary and a fire show from the Essex University’s East 15 acting school will usher in the season of good on Saturday, November 17.

Derek Jarvis, cabinet member for culture and tourism on Southend Council, said: “These events really do have something for all ages and they put Southend very firmly on the map as a top festive destination for residents and visitors.

“Everyone can come along and share lots of fun for free. The attractions showcase all that the borough has to offer and let everyone know that they can find everything they need for Christmas here in Southend.”

Father Christmas, live reindeer and fairytale characters, including Cinderella, will parade down High Street from Victoria Circus to the Royals Shopping Centre from 1pm.

After the lights are switched on at 5pm the students will give a fire show before fireworks explode over the estuary at 5.30pm.

Other performances will take place throughout the afternoon on a stage in Victoria Circus.

A farmers and craft market will offer seasonal delights, Christmas treats and unique gift ideas in High Street every Saturday from November 17 to December 22, as well as Sunday, December 23, and Christmas Eve.