CHRISTMAS will arrive this weekend as towns turn on their lights, and sing festive carols.

Traders in Harwich and Manningtree are set to host Christmas celebrations to welcome in the holiday season.

Tonight, December 7, Manningtree will step back in time as characters from the 13th century walk among residents at the Christmas fayre from 6pm.

Even famous witchfinder general Matthew Hopkins could be in the crowd at the event organised by the Manningtree Chamber of Trade.

Stalls, including crafts and homemade gifts, will line the streets alongside food like hot roasted chesnuts and freshly cooked pizza. There will also be a street magician, dancers, a brass band, and Santa with his sleigh in the High Street.

On Saturday, December 8, Dovercourt town will be filled with craft stalls, a hog roast, stilt walkers, jugglers, magicians, Harwich Sing choir and Crusaders children’s choir, from 6pm.

Father Christmas will also be at the event with his elves in a grotto.