The huge Year of Celebration events programme continues throughout November and December, as Colchester continues to celebrate its first year as a modern city with a programme of events, activities and milestones.

A fantastic programme of events taking place across the city centre and surrounding towns and villages. From world class exhibitions at museums and galleries to incredible art, performance and live music events all celebrating this historic year in Colchester’s history.

The events coming up in November and December are:


  • 4 November: Colchester Castle Park Fireworks
  • 15 November: Colchester Christmas Light Switch On
  • 17-19 November, Wivenhoe Art Trail
  • 25 November – 24 December: The Magic of Christmas at Colchester Zoo
  • Now, until 31 December 2023: Online Exhibition: City Celebration
    To celebrate Colchester’s city status, historic charters dating back to the reign of King Edward III in 1364 are online to view.
  • Now, until 1 December 2023: Under Siege exhibition at Colchester Castle
  • Now, until 18 January 2024: The Colchester Globes, various locations
  • Now, until 14 January 2024: Gladiators, A Day at the Roman Games, Colchester Castle
  • 10 November: Gladiators: ‘Those Who Are About To Quiz Salute You’, Colchester Castle
  • 25 November – 14 January 2024: Sleeping Beauty, Mercury Theatre


  • 1-31 December: Enlightened – Castle Park Christmas Light Trail, Colchester Castle Park
  • Throughout December (check dates): Meet Father Christmas, Colchester Castle
  • 6 December: FREE Christmas Open Evening at Colchester Castle
  • 17 December: The Messiah, Layer Marney Tower
  • 22 December: An Evening with Father Christmas and Friends, Colchester Castle

Join the extra-special programme of celebratory events marking this historic year for Colchester: and keep checking back as more will be added.

 Cllr Michelle Burrows, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Heritage, said: “The festive season is a time for celebration, and we want local people to have access to first class events.

“We have seen Colchester’s Christmas offering improving year-on-year. This not only creates something for local people to enjoy, but it helps to attract more visitors to our wonderful city who will spend money not only at the markets, but also in shops, restaurants, hotels and other places in the city.

“I am very much looking forward to seeing our city centre looking its festive best and showcasing everything Colchester has to offer.”

If you are an event organiser, business, organisation or charity, you can get involved in the Year of Celebration, find out more on the council’s webpage: