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Brentwood to get in festive spirit with a virtual lights on and a nutcracker trail

PUBLISHED: 09:11 06 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:11 06 October 2020

The 12 life-size nutcrackers will be dotted around Brentwood, Shenfield and Ingatestone for families to find.

The 12 life-size nutcrackers will be dotted around Brentwood, Shenfield and Ingatestone for families to find.

Brentwood Council

Christmas is not cancelled this year in Brentwood. The traditional lights on event, which normally attracts crowds of around 15,000 to the town centre, will be taking place, only without the audience - streamed online for residents.

What’s more, a nutcracker trail will be launched with 12 life size figures placed around Brentwood, Shenfield and Ingatestone where families can enter a competition to find each one.

Chair of the community and health committee, councillor Cliff Poppy: “It’s been a tough year which means Christmas is even more poignant and we are committed to running our seasonal events in a way that is safe but also enjoyable and fun.”

On the day, November 28, there will be live performances and a special Christmas message from the deputy mayor, councillor Olivia Sanders – all of which can be seen online from 4.30pm and the launch of the magical Nutcracker trail.

The 12 giant Nutcrackers have all been individually sponsored by Brentwood businesses and from the lights switch on, families have six weeks to go out and about and locate each one to complete the trail and enter their forms into the special postboxes. Entries will be drawn at random to be in with a chance to win a Nintendo Switch lite with game, Amazon fire tablet, and a £50 voucher.

According to German folklore, nutcrackers were given as keepsakes to bring good luck to your family and protect your home. The legend says that a nutcracker represents power and strength and serves like a trusty watch dog guarding your family from evil spirits and danger. More recently the nutcracker has come to be seen as the traditional Christmas messenger of good luck and goodwill.

Councillor Cliff Poppy added: “I am really chuffed that our local businesses have got right behind these wonderful characters and each one is sponsored which is testament to how enthralling the nutcrackers are.

“They stand out and add great character to the Christmas season and I know my grandchildren will absolutely love doing this trail. We have made sure that booklets for the trail will be available in schools, libraries and shops and a downloadable map will be available nearer the time. It’s a great idea to get everyone out and about safely and fits with the traditional Christmas theme.”

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