Andover residents are in for a fabulous evening of festivities at the Andover Christmas Festival.
Taking place on Friday 17 November, 4pm to 8pm, Test Valley Borough Council, InAndover from Andover BID and Andover Town Council have been wrapping up a stocking full of surprises for the night.
With three main stages featuring a packed programme of performances, children’s activities, a Christmas market, street theatre and festive refreshments, there will be something for everyone to enjoy this year.
Andover High Street will be hosting the Guildhall Stage, where a line-up of local music acts will be treating everyone to a collection of Christmas songs and performances. Acts include choirs from Vigo, Anton and Pilgrim’s Cross Schools, Andover Youth Dance Company, RASPO Steel Band (back by popular demand), and the evening will be rounded off by headliner act Nokando.
Children will have the chance to visit the free face painting stand and take a spin on some fun fairground rides and the Christmas Lights will be switched on from the Guildhall at 6pm by the Mayor of Andover, Councillor Robin Hughes, with a helping hand from Father Christmas.
Those looking to start their Christmas shopping can visit the Christmas Market on Bridge Street where local businesses will be selling a variety of gifts; from original art to handmade jewellery and gin. The market will be filled classic carols as local groups, such as Andover Town Band and Ingenious Gentlemen, will perform some festive favourites from the Bridge Street stage throughout the evening.
There will be live street theatre acts popping up across the town and visitors can look forward to meeting three ‘not so wise’ men and a cheeky bauble who will be whizzing around creating magical mischief with bubbles!
Refreshments will be available at Town Mills Riverside Park with food and drink stalls featuring freshly cooked street food, drinks, and sweet treats.
Live music will be performed at the Town Mills stage in the park area behind the Pub featuring local singer/songwriters and bands such as Maddison A, Swan Samba band, and headliners No Way Out.
The Yard Bar will be popping up for the first time this year, next to the Chantry Centre multistorey car park and the entrance to Waterloo Court. A selection of hot and cold drinks will be on offer including craft beers and cocktails. This is located close to the Town Mills stage in the park, making this a perfect spot to enjoy a drink and have a dance.
This year’s children’s activities can be found inside the Chantry Centre. Families can listen to a special tale of Cinderella and be dazzled by some mesmerising magic shows. Both activities will be free and running throughout the evening, in a unit next to Waterstones.
The popular Christmas Grotto will also be open for the first time in the Chantry Centre this year. Father Christmas will be flying in from the North Pole to the indoor garden, next to Boswell’s, and children will have the chance to meet him and collect a special gift. Tickets cost £5 per child and can be purchased at the entrance.
For anyone not able to meet Father Christmas on the night, the Grotto will be back open on various other dates throughout November and December, more details can be found at www.thechantrycentre.com.
Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Phil North, said, “The Andover Christmas Festival is always such a wonderful event, which so many people love to be a part of. This year there will be plenty of activities in store, with some brilliant entertainment from local performers and a variety of independent businesses joining in the fun.
“I hope everyone has fabulous time celebrating with their friends and families in the town.”
Shelley Coburn, BID Manager said: “We are thrilled to collaborate with Test Valley Borough Council and Andover Town Council to bring the Andover Christmas Festival to the heart of our town. This event is our biggest and hopefully best event of the year for Andover, and it’s great for InAndover to play a pivotal role in making it a reality.”
Friday 17 November, 4pm – 8pm, Andover town centre.
Full details of the event, including timings and activity locations above.