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Banbury Christmas lights switch-on draws huge crowds

Charlotte Atherton, aged 6, and Emily Barker-Fox, 7, followed in the footsteps of TV stars and local celebrities when they helped town mayor John Colegrave turn on the street decorations.
Charlotte is on the left and Emily on the right

Banbury’s youngest-ever Christmas Lights guests had a day to remember at an action-packed switch-on festival on Sunday.

Charlotte Atherton, aged 6, and Emily Barker-Fox, 7, followed in the footsteps of TV stars and local celebrities when they helped town mayor John Colegrave turn on the street decorations.

The event added seasonal sparkle to a dull weather day and the switch-on was a fabulous finale to an occasion that brought Christmas cheer to shoppers and visitors.

The lights festival, organised by Banbury Town Council and sponsored by Castle Quay, included a Christmas market, funfair, Santa’s grotto, food and drink stalls, face painting, dance displays, choirs, live music and a firework display.

Faith and Sophia in Santa’s grotto
Faith and Sophia in Santa’s grotto

Charlotte and Emily were the winners of a competition to design Banbury’s official Christmas card.

The finished card, with Charlotte’s Banbury Cross picture on the back and Emily’s Christmas canal boat drawing on the front, will be sent by Cllr Colegrave to civic dignitaries throughout Oxfordshire and neighbouring counties.

Cllr Colegrave said on Sunday:

“The lights festival is always popular and draws huge crowds. It launches Christmas in Banbury and the street illuminations add excitement and seasonal warmth to the atmosphere.”

Charlotte said:

“I’d been looking forward to the day and it was really good fun. I thought the fireworks were lovely.”

Emily agreed:

“It was great being on stage and seeing the lights come on when we pressed the button.”

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Looking for somewhere to Eat Out in the area?

Dining out in Banburyshire has never been so exciting, with amazing venues popping up year upon year. Renowned for producing incredibly talented chefs, the Banbury area is developing a reputation for its growing number of excellent foodie pubs.

Sink your teeth into this list of great country food pubs around Banbury

Sink your teeth into this list of great country food pubs around Banbury


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The rise of Café and Coffee Shops across Banbury has been exceptional in recent years, and it’s not just the well known high street coffee chains that have made a name for themselves.

Take a look at this comprehensive list of Café’s breathing new life into Banbury

The rise of café culture across Banbury has been exceptional in recent years, and it's not just the well known high street coffee chains


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