Andover’s Christmas celebrations will kick-start at the Andover Christmas Festival on Friday 25 November.
Opening 3pm until 8pm, this special event will fill the centre with family-friendly activities ranging from live performances to games and visual displays.
As part of the night’s celebrations the town’s Christmas lights will be switched on to mark the beginning of the festive season. Other light displays will illuminate the streets throughout the evening, creating a visual feast for visitors as they explore the various attractions around the event.
A live theatrical production of Thumbelina will take place in Riverside Park at Town Mills, with three magical shows running at 3:30pm, 5pm and 6:30pm. The show, which features traditional rod, shadow and glove puppets, has limited spaces and pre-booking is recommended. Free tickets can be secured online at: https://thumbelinapuppet.eventbrite.co.uk
The park will also host an acoustic stage by Andover Radio, near to Wilkos, where local musicians will perform throughout the evening. With the line up to be confirmed.
Bridge Street will be buzzing with activity as a special Christmas market, featuring stalls from local traders, will be popping up. There will be plenty of opportunities to begin Christmas shopping and buy some truly unique artisanal gifts. Freshly cooked street food and festive drinks will also be available to buy, keeping everyone refreshed as they listen to a performance or browse the stalls.
Local schools, choirs and other organisations will be delighting audiences by participating in a live concert which will take place on a stage opposite the Guildhall. There will also be traditional games and fairground rides at the lower end of the High Street and children can visit the face painter or get a temporary glitter tattoo during the event.
The Chantry Centre will be welcoming Father Christmas and the elves as the town’s Christmas Grotto will open its doors for the first time this year from 3pm until 8pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door and children will receive a special festive gift.
Andover’s indoor shopping mall will also house a beautiful snow globe in the indoor garden area, next to Boswell’s, which families can visit and have a fabulous festive photo taken inside.
With all of the activities running throughout the town, many of Andover’s shops will be staying open later than usual to be a part of the event and join the festivities.
Andover Christmas Festival is being organised by Test Valley Borough Council, InAndover from Andover BID and Andover Town Council.
Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Phil North, said: “This is going to be a very special event for Andover. Over the past few years we have had to restrict our Christmas activities and it feels incredibly positive to be able to put on a full town centre event again this year.
“There will be lots of different things for everyone to enjoy throughout the evening, and we hope everyone will come along and really celebrate the start of Christmas together.”
For more details about Andover Christmas Festival, visit: https://bit.ly/AndoverChristmasFestival
For details of the Chantry Centre Grotto opening dates and prices, visit: www.thechantrycentre.com