A local celebrity will not be turning on the Watford Christmas lights for the first time in years, organisers have confirmed.

The annual event, put together by Watford Business Improvement District (BID), will break with tradition and also not have a stage with performances, instead opting to "try something new" on Saturday, November 18.

This year 'Winterfest' will feature a new parade through the high street, with festive activities, food and drink stalls and live music.

Watford Observer: This year the festivities will not include a celebrity guest.This year the festivities will not include a celebrity guest. (Image: Watford Borough Council)

A spokesperson for Watford BID said: “We wanted to try something new this year and listened to the businesses who help fund the event. We are hoping this will encourage people to stay around the town centre for longer and visit local businesses.

“There will be much more variety and plenty of things for everyone to do, with the lights being switched on at the end of the high street parade.”

Recent years have seen the honours done by The Voice contestant Clare Cordell, X-Factor winners Rak-Su, Watford FC legend Luther Blissett and radio presenter Chris Stark.

Watford Observer: The lights are being switched on at the end of November.The lights are being switched on at the end of November. (Image: Watford Borough Council)

Watford's Business Improvement District (BID), which plans and produces the event, is a non-profit organisation funded by businesses in the town and the borough council.

The borough council part-funds the event and said it gives BID “around £20,000” for the switch-on each year. 

BID declined to reveal how much was being spent on it overall, stating that information is only shared with businesses who fund it. 

Watford Observer: The event will be from 2pm to 6pm.The event will be from 2pm to 6pm. (Image: Watford BID)

According to BID, this year's event will be “much longer for people to enjoy the town’s festivities”, compared to how it has done the celebration before. 

In previous years, the celebrations have lasted from 3.15pm to 5.30pm but this year will be taking place between 2pm to 6pm. 

The event has also previously ended with the celebrity hitting the button to turn the lights on, but the lights will be switched on at the end of the parade, according to BID.

Winterfest will be taking place on Saturday, November 18, between 2pm and 6pm, and the town will remain lit until January 2024.