Friday 24th November is the day that Christmas is launched in Henley.
The roads in the centre of town are closed from 3pm and the town is filled with festive stalls and fairground attractions.
Shops stay open until 9pm. Machin’s will be frying up their famous bacon sandwiches, Laurence’s Menswear serves delicious mulled wine and mince pies with a touch of magic too, Echoes will have Christmas music playing and a pop up from Henley Olives and Lemons, grab your dog an Advent Calendar from Naughty Mutt Nice and have you tried Johnny Hot Stuff‘s famous chilli sauce? And you must try a delicious Hot Chocolate from the team at Gorvett and Stone!
At 7pm Christmas Tree Lights will be turned on by The Mayor and a VIP Celebrity guest alongside the Christmas Card design winner, Rupert House School student, Lotte Groh, Kenton Theatre Pantomime characters and Christmas sponsors. Followed by carol singing and Christmas Tunes with Woodley Concert Band.
There will be a Santa’s Grotto at the King’s Arm Barn from 4.30pm. Free entry – please join the queue. Last queue entry at 7.30pm. Starbucks will be supplying nibbles and hot drinks whilst you wait and the amazing Party Planners will be decorating the Grotto. Father Christmas looks forward to finding out what is on your wish list. The elves will be accepting donations – money will be going to The Chiltern Centre and the Mayor’s Charities.
There will be live music on the stage in market place from 5pm with the following performance times:
5pm Henley Children’s Theatre
5.15pm Diva’s & Dudes
5.30pm Henley Youth Choir
5.45pm Stagecoach Henley
6.00pm Blue Mic Choir
6.15pm Charis Anne Luke
6.40pm Kenton Panto Cast
7pm Lights Switch On with Celebrity Christopher Biggins + Mayor’s Speech
7.10pm Christmas Carols from the Woodley Concert
8pm 8 Ray Music
In addition, a choir from Reading Operatic Society will be performing at 6.30pm on Duke Street and 7.30pm on Bell Street and watch out for Mrs Claus and her elf side-kick roaming about on stilts.
There may also be some special Christmas Lanterns parading into the town from the River and Rowing Museum, ready for the 7pm lights turning on.
Information and First Aid support is available all evening at The Town Hall.
The event finishes at 9pm and roads will be open by 11pm.