Watford town centre’s Winterfest Christmas lights switch-on “delighted” visitors over the weekend.

The event on Saturday was hosted by Watford BID, funded by local businesses and the borough council, and kicked off this year's festivities.

It included a parade with a marching band, costume characters and community groups, along with Father Christmas and his sleigh.

Watford Observer: There were many free activities.There were many free activities. (Image: Watford BID)

A Watford BID spokesperson said: “There was a fantastic community feel as locals flooded the town to spend the afternoon with friends and family. It was wonderful to see so many children gleefully enjoying the Christmas-themed rides and even winning some great prizes.”

There were free Christmas rides for children as well as festive activities, food and drink stalls and performances.

Watford Observer: Father Christmas was in the parade.Father Christmas was in the parade. (Image: Watford BID)

The lights were switched on once the parade had reached its final destination by the pond, which was followed by more entertainment.

The performances included Watford Rock Choir, jazz musician Chris Harvey, Monika Suder, a violinist, LED dancers and fire-breathing performers.

The spokesperson added: “A massive thank you goes to all mentioned performers, and to local partners Herts Inclusive Theatre, Watford Palace Theatre, PQA Watford and Jigsaw Performing Arts for providing entertainment on the day. A special mention also goes to all volunteers who helped to coordinate and manage the event on the day, without whom the event would not have been possible.”

Watford Observer: The festive parade concluded by the pond. The festive parade concluded by the pond. (Image: Watford BID)

This is the first year the Winterfest has taken place and replaced the traditional Christmas lights switch-on, which previously involved a live performances stage and celebrity flicking the switch.

The event was organised by Watford BID, which is a non-profit organisation funded and governed by over 400 businesses. Watford Borough Council helped pay for the event.

Watford Observer: The event happened on Saturday.The event happened on Saturday. (Image: Watford BID)

Watford Observer: The Watford Rock Choir performed.The Watford Rock Choir performed. (Image: Watford BID)

Watford Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) was set up in April 2016, after businesses voted on its creation in October 2015 and voted for a second five-year term in February 2021.

It sees a diverse range of businesses in the town centre join forces for the greater good of the town.

It is funded by Watford town centre businesses in the form of a levy of 1.25% on the rateable value of properties on or over the £10k threshold.