Without the huge annual high street event to launch Christmas shopping in Andover this year, the team at Test Valley Borough Council have arranged a host of alternative activities.
Sunday 29th November is the key date to remember, when there will be a range of festive – socially distanced – events to experience and take part in.
There will be a special Christmas Food and Gift Fair in the high street from 11am with a range of stalls, hot food and mulled drinks.
Visitors to the high street are encouraged to make their way to the land adjacent to the Andover Leisure Centre and The Lights during their visit to experience Andover’s Christmas Tree Festival.
Christmas Tree panels will be on display, decorated by children from local schools, community groups and businesses. Those already involved include 11th Andover Scout Group, Mark Way School and John Hanson Community School.
The whole experience is accompanied by a special festive ‘soundscape’ provided by Andover Radio to wrap visitors in a unique sparkly and glittery Christmas aura.
The magic of this display will be heightened at darkness falls. The sun will set around 4.45pm.
The Food and Gift Fair in the high street is open from 11am to 6pm and features stalls from retailers like:
– Rutts Lane Cider
– Little Country Lane
– Pear Tree Preserves
– Goofy Goat Gifts
– Bumble Bears
– The Andover Tap
– Oaktrack Smallholding
– The Gin Stall
– Candle Delites
– Wessex Spirits
– Four Brothers Cheese and more!
Visitors are asked to be mindful of ongoing social distancing rules and are encouraged to support our local high street shops that have had a very tough time.
Organiser Heather Whittam says, “The Christmas activities will also include the Window Wanderland trail which sees local businesses and households decorate their shop windows with a festive feel. Residents and local schools are also asked to participate.
“Our festivities around the town centre replaces the hugely successful annual Lights Switch On event which would normally see up to 6,000 people in the high street for a ‘big screen’ stage show which includes a range of talented local musicians and performers.”
Andover Radio is currently in discussion with Santa Claus about calling into the Christmas Tree Festival experience.
A full list of participating groups, organisations and schools in the Christmas Tree Festival is here:
St Michael’s Pre-school
95.9FM Andover Radio
11th Andover Scout Group
St. Michael & All Angels, Knights Enham
Mark Way School
Andover C of E Primary School
John Hanson Community School
Kimpton, Thruxton & Fyfiled C of E School
Anton Junior School
Pilgrim’s Cross CE Primary School
Portway Junior School
Abbots Ann C of E Primary School
St John the Baptist Catholic Primary School
Harrow Way Community School
Appleshaw St. Peter’s CE Primary School
Suzanne School of Dance
Vigo Primary School
Natural Business Network
David Mellor Jewellers
Knights Enham Infant School
Portway Infant School
Yellow Dot Nursery
Ruby Slippers Show School