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Southend’s first ever Halloween Parade will take place along the seafront this Saturday (October 30) featuring over 700 participants.
Organised by Southend Community Events in collaboration with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Southend Tourism Partnership, the parade will feature spooky entries for the whole family including the world-renowned Spark! Street theatre drummers, Emergency Exit Arts with their giant firebird and three giant glowing ghosts, and Mandinga Arts, street theatre and carnival artists who will be performing with students from Southend’s East 15 theatre school as well as local children.
They will be joined by 47 local groups, dance performances, a lighting spectacular and giant lit-up puppets made by local artists.
A stunning fireworks display – hosted separately by the Southend Business Improvement District (BID) – will close the evening at 7.30pm.
With ongoing Anglian Water works in the area, the council and Southend BID are carefully monitoring the situation with public safety remaining the top priority.
Due to these works and the parade route, there are some important parking updates:
- Herbert Road and Lucy Road will be closed all day from 6am. Parking will be suspended on these roads for the duration of the road closure. Please look out for signage and do not park here otherwise your car may be towed.
- From 2pm, there will be a parking suspension on Western Esplanade (south side only) from the Pier to Roberto’s kiosk. Please look out for signage and do not park here after 2pm otherwise your car may be towed.
- Parking as normal on north side of Western Esplanade but no vehicle movement between 4pm – 8pm.
- Seaway car park will remain open as usual, but we expect to reach capacity during the afternoon.
- Fairheads Green car park (next to Sealife Adventure) will also remain open until 4pm when the road closes for the parade, vehicles that are parked inside will not be able to leave until 6.30pm once the parade has passed.
- Gasworks car park will now be closed to the public because of the Anglian Water situation and the front of the car park will be used by parade entrants – see alternative parking below
Because of these changes, visitors are being urged to arrive early and use town centre car parks which are all between 5 to 10 minute walks to the seafront and will be help to reduce traffic congestion on the seafront.
c2c rail service will be terminating at Leigh-on-Sea and a bus replacement service will complete the route to Southend Central train station.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture, tourism and planning, said: “The highly anticipated Halloween Parade is nearly here, and with a range of performers, floats and fireworks, there really is something for everyone in your family.
“Thank you to the Southend Community Events team for organising the event, along with all those who made the idea a reality. I would encourage all those in attendance to stay safe, socially distance and wear a mask if possible.”
The parade will leave at 5pm from the Gas Works Car Park on Eastern Esplanade and proceed along Marine Parade, to Western Esplanade before dispersing between Shorefield Road and Grosvenor Road.
The parade will see several roads closed prior to the processions including:
- Southchurch Ave (south of Woodgrange Drive) from 4pm
- Eastern Esplanade (from Gasworks to Kursaal) from 4pm
- Marine Parade from 4pm
- Western Esplanade (from Southend Pier to Shorefield Road) from 4pm
Jacqui Dallimore, chair of Southend Tourism Partnership, said: “The Southend Tourism Partnership are delighted to be supporting the Halloween Parade which will be a fabulous event for residents and visitors. The parade will help boost the town’s economy after what has been a difficult 18 months due to the pandemic and we hope it will become a recurring annual event to help extend the tourism season.”