Santa at Barking Mad About Christmas event

Christmas has arrived in Barking and Dagenham with the Council’s big Christmas event

Christmas in Barking and Dagenham has officially begun, as the borough welcomed over 3,000 residents on Saturday 3 December, at its festive Christmas lights switch on event.

Barking Mad about Christmas returned last weekend with a whole host of free festive entertainment including carol singing, wreath making, dance performances, magic shows, and even a festive bingo. 

The day’s entertainment also saw Leader of the Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, lip syncing to popular festive tunes to raise money for the Young Mayor’s chosen charity, the Ben Kinsella Trust.

Santa saw 400 children in his grotto, who all received a gift from Father Christmas, which also included a dedicated quiet hour for young people with additional needs. 

The festivities took place around Barking Town Square, Barking Learning Centre and Barking Market, where visitors took part in an Elf hunt and everyone’s favourite giant green ogre, Shrek, was on hand to spread some Christmas cheer.

A number of workshops also took place, including holly wreath making, which was run by event sponsors, The Party Box. Local library, the Barking Learning Centre, also got involved with a fun Christmas craft workshop.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, said: “In what has been another difficult year for many people because of the cost-of-living crisis, we’re absolutely delighted to be able to bring Christmas festivities to the borough, that put smiles on people’s faces.

“Switching on the Christmas lights and seeing thousands of residents have lots of fun and get into the festive spirit, was such a wonderful sight to see.”