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By Alex D'Andrea - 29 March 2019

Find events in Essex for the whole family to enjoy.  Here are our highlights of things to do in the area over the next couple of weeks.

The Gin and Rum Festival – Chelmsford Cathedral – Friday 12th April – 12:00 – 23:00 – New Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1TY

With tickets from as low as £12 you can enjoy a festival at the cathedral with over 60 different gins and 60 different rums. With an award winning DJ there from the beginning to end, you will be sure to have some amazing live entertainment. What you can expect from the event: knowledgeable staff, free satchel bag including a Gin and Rum Festival Copa Glass, Themed Bars, Gin and Rum guide, Talks and master classes from the best Gin & Rum producers, live entertainment.

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Magic of Motown – The Brentwood Centre – Saturday 27th April - 20:00 – Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, CM15 9NN

Tickets cost £35.75, but with that expense comes an unforgettable night. You do not need to be a fan of Motown in order to enjoy the 40 back to back classic Motown hits, glittering costume changes, dazzling dance moves and outstanding musicianship.

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Beauty and the Beast – Easter Pantomime – Sunday 14th April – 14:30 / 19:00 – C/o Town Hall, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1SE

Belle lives a quiet provincial life in the village of Ooh La La until her father accidentally stumbles across a terrifying Beast and she is taken captive. Now it is up to Fairy Enchante, the village idiot Wally and his mother Dame Dolly to pit their wits against the evil Enchantress and rescue Belle from the Beast…

Prepare yourselves for another all-singing, all-dancing, laugh-a-minute ride through the fun and frolics of panto land - arriving Easter 2019.

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Cressing Chocolate Factory – Friday 19th April – 10:30 – 16:30 – Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road, Cressing, Nr. Witham, CM77 8PD

The Cressing Chocolate Festival promises to have something for all chocolate lovers with a great range of stalls. For the serious chocolate enthusiast there will be Artisan stalls, workshops and talks on the history of chocolate. Whilst children will have the chance to sign-up for workshops as well as complete a chocolate trail.

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Kids Craft Workshops – 8th April – 17th April – 10:30am – 3pm – RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Chelmsford, CM3 8ET

Watch RHS Garden Hyde Hall burst into life this spring and find fun Easter crafts including making spring crowns, animal bookmarks, cotton ball sheep, salt-dough creatures and sow and grow bunny tail grass. Craft sessions cost £3 per child and take place from 10.30am–3pm in the Hilltop Lodge.

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Live Horseracing – Chelmsford City Racecourse – Thursday 11th April – 12:00 – 5:15 Moulsham Hall Lane, Gt Leighs, Chelmsford, CM3 1QP

Chelmsford City Racecourse hosts a thrilling afternoon of live horseracing including the very first running of the Cardinal Cup, the final leg of the European Road to the Kentucky Derby series!

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