The air was filled with festive cheer on Saturday 18 November, as Newbury experienced a record-breaking turnout at this year’s Christmas Lights Switch On Festival.
Marking the official commencement of the holiday season, the event was organised by Newbury BID, the not-for-profit organisation behind Visit Newbury, with the aim of offering locals and visitors a full day of festivities to celebrate the start of Christmas in Newbury.
The enchanting spectacle offered a full line up of events and activities that encapsulated the true essence of Christmas. Visitors and residents alike headed into central Newbury to take in the festival’s activities, leading to an increase in visitor numbers for another successive year.
The day kicked off with an all-day Christmas market offering food and gifts, alongside a children’s fun fair and life-sized snow globe for seasonal selfies. The festivities did not stop there, the town centre became a wonderland of festive delights, featuring an assortment of free workshops, enchanting meet-and-greet sessions with the beloved Princesses Anna, Elsa and their friend Olaf, and magical visits to Santa Claus at his Grotto in the Kennet Shopping Centre. A Living Nativity Animal Farm added a touch of tradition, whilst live music and performance hubs throughout the town served as a merry backdrop to the day’s events.
As attendees made their way around the festival, they bumped into mesmerizing Ghost Caribou, mystical lantern-like illuminations casting a spellbinding aura at dusk, and bouncing Christmas elves who were busy spreading joy and laughter wherever they went.
The anticipation then peaked for the much-awaited Christmas Lights Switch On at 6pm in the Market Place. The transformation saw Newbury Town Centre lit up in a dazzling display, officially announcing the beginning of Christmas in Newbury.
Warwick Heskins, Chair of Newbury BID, expressed his elation, stating, “We are thrilled by the overwhelming response to this year’s Christmas Lights Switch On Festival. It marks the official beginning of Christmas in Newbury, and seeing the community come together in such numbers fills us with immense joy.”
As the festivities continue to unfold, Visit Newbury invites everyone to explore the huge range of events and experiences awaiting them over the coming weeks. The wider Christmas in Newbury campaign highlights the fantastic events taking place in Newbury this winter.
Highlights include a special two-day Christmas Artisan Market on 16 & 17 November, bringing over 60 stalls selling handmade Christmas gifts and produce, and a unique late night shopping experience on 21 December where Mr Grinch will be out and about causing trouble in local shops!
To learn more about Christmas in Newbury, including performances, markets, celebrations and more, head over to www.visitnewbury.org.uk/unwrap-newbury or follow @visitnewbury on social media.