The festive period has officially begun in Thurrock as Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr James Halden, was joined by local school children to switch on the lights in Grays High Street.
On Tuesday 22 November, the Mayor along with local school children from Quarry Hill Academy switched on the Christmas lights in Grays High Street, lighting up a 4.5m (15ft) Christmas tree and living tree lights.
Cllr Halden said: "I'm delighted to have switched on the lights with pupils from Quarry Hill Academy and brought some festivity to Thurrock ahead of the holiday period.
"Many thanks to the Thurrock Centre for Business and Griffin Residential Grays Estate Agents for their support in sponsoring the Christmas tree.
"Thurrock has so much to offer its residents and that starts with our many local and independent entrepreneurs and businesses. Ahead of 'Small Business Saturday' on 3 December, I'd like to encourage everyone to support small, local businesses and stall holders at our local markets, where you can, as our thoughts turn to the festive holiday."
Mrs Wakeling, Head Teacher of Quarry Hill Academy, said: "We had a really difficult time in deciding which children should be selected to assist with the special task of turning on Grays Christmas lights as we are so proud of all our amazing pupils! We chose four very worthy members of our school council to do the honours and we know that they will represent our school tremendously well, just as they do every day."
This winter the council in collaboration with Thurrock Community and Voluntary Services (CVS) has supported local communities in spreading the Christmas spirit via funding provided to the Small Sparks Festive Fund. The fund aims to support an idea or project during the festive season and help bring people together across Thurrock.
Photo below: Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr James Halden in front of the Christmas tree with pupils at Quarry Hill Academy.