RESIDENTS are being asked to pitch in to fund this year's Christmas lights and switch-on event in Dovercourt.

Create, a community group set up to host events in the town, is calling for help to pay the £3,500 cost of the night on December 1 called Santas Coming to Town.

Organiser Kirsti Ayling, said: "We did crowdfunding for the event last year and we got the money in the end.

"It was nice because it feels like the town pulled together, we called it Christmas Cracker and we all pulled together.

"We need £3,500 again for this year so we have set up a Go Fund Me page again."

Harwich and Dovercourt will again have Christmas lights on lampposts, which were funded and installed by Harwich Town Council in 2015 - it spends £3,500 on insurance and maintenance costs annually.

Money for the Christmas display and switch-on event had previously come from Harwich and Dovercourt Partnership, which took over the display in 2009.

But last year the partnership said its funding and organisation of the lights was only ever a temporary measure.

The event was on the verge of being cancelled - around £500 was raised by generous residents and traders - but Harwich Town Council stepping in at the 11th hour to contribute the final £2,500.

Kirsti added: "We are appealing for the community to help us raise the funds to make it a truly magical evening for all to enjoy.

"The team that put this event on are all voluntary members and a lot of time and effort goes into this, but seeing how many people come to celebrate this evening makes it all worthwhile.

"We've called this year's event Santa's Coming to Town as for the first time we will have a Santa's grotto outside.

"We've had a grotto indoors but then people miss the entertainment.

"This year we will have hot drinks for those in the queue too.

"And we will put 10 sets of lights across the street, as people look forward to those ones.

"We will have dancing by Boogie Shoes, Ballroom Business and Harmonie Rose cheerleaders, stalls, kids rides and a climbing wall."

The event will take place along Dovercourt High Street and in Kingsway Hall from 5pm.

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