A children’s lantern parade and a festive film show will launch Christmas in Banbury on Saturday November 20.
Dozens of youngsters with self-made lanterns will join marching musicians and mischievous elves in a street procession that will make its way to the Cornhill area of the Market Place.
The parade, which will start at 5pm, will herald the first showing of this year’s Christmas movie – an enchanting seasonal video that will be projected onto the Cornhill entrance to the Castle Quay shopping centre.
The film, described as a festive story with a magical feel, will be shown every day from the 20th until the end of December. It will start at dusk each day and be projected on a rolling basis until late so that passers-by who arrive near the end won’t have to wait long to see the start.
The video has been financed by Banbury Town Council and Banbury BID who have teamed up with Castle Quay to provide a fantastic follow-up to last year’s successful and first-ever festive film show.
Castle Quay is inviting children to make their lanterns at a free workshop at the shopping centre on Saturday November 13 between 11am – 4pm.
Children can also make lanterns at home and take them to the parade.
Banbury Mayor Shaida Hussain will arrive at Cornhill in the Hook Norton Brewery dray and present Christmas gifts to the children in the lantern parade.
Cllr Hussain said: “This will be a wonderful start to Christmas. In addition to this, the town’s Christmas street lights will be switched on at an event outside the town hall on Sunday 28th November and Banbury will look absolutely fabulous over the festive period.
She added: “The film, the street lights – and don’t forget the illuminated Christmas trees – will transform the town like never before.”
Oliver Wren, centre director at Castle Quay, said: “The lantern parade is the perfect way to mark the beginning of the Banbury light projections.
“Our brand-new shopping centre Christmas lights will be installed after this event and together with the new town centre street lights will be the most stylish decorations the town has ever had.”
Stuart Moore, of Banbury BID, said: “This fantastic event will bring festive cheer to our community. We are keen to welcome visitors to our town to ‘Experience Banbury’ and celebrate the wonderful shops and businesses we have to offer.
“We hope families will make a day of it and do some Christmas shopping before the lantern parade, stay and watch the festive light show, then relax in the bars, cafes, restaurants and pubs that offer some outstanding dining experiences in Banbury.”