Tue, 03 Dec 2019
THATCHAM’S bumper Christmas weekend starts on Friday.
The Broadway will become the town’s festive focal point from 5pm on Friday, December 6.
The evening will start with 25 charity stalls offering a selection of games and competitions and there will also be a treasure hunt around town centre businesses.
The big lights switch-on will be performed by town mayor Mike Cole at 7pm, after a few words from parish rector the Rev Mark Bennet.
Both sides of the Broadway will be closed to all traffic from 1pm, including the central car parking area. High Street will be closed to all traffic from 1pm until 10pm, except for buses and taxis.
Covers band The Doolallys (formerly The Dooleys) will be playing festive songs after the lights switch-on, until 8pm.
Entertainment will also include performances from Kennet and Trinity school choirs, Read Theatre School, Kennet Amateur Theatrical Society and St Mary’s Church Choir.
Thatcham Town Council, which puts on the display, is buying new lights for this year’s event.
The switch-on is being sponsored by McCarthy & Stone, which is building retirement apartments on the junction of The Moors and Station Road.
And, wanting the festive feeling to last the whole weekend, the council is also holding a Festive Family Fun event on Saturday, December 7.
The event will feature stage entertainment and other attractions including Cold Ash Brass Band, West Berkshire Rock Choir, primary school choirs from Thatcham Park and Whiteland’s Park, Ruddock Academy of Irish Dance and Jolly Pop’s Snow Sisters singing songs from the latest musicals
A Christmas grotto, children’s funfair rides, community stalls and an Eco Christmas Market will be held in Thatcham Parish Hall between 1.30pm and 5pm.
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without animals – and a local children’s farm has been booked to supply the festive fauna, alongside a funfair.
The popular Friday evening treasure hunt that businesses take part in will be extended into Saturday, while a public vote for the best-dressed window competition also runs over the weekend.
As previously reported in the Newbury Weekly News, free parking will be available in the Kingsland Centre car park from Friday evening into Saturday.
West Berkshire Council is covering the cost of the Friday parking, but said it could not extend the period to Saturday – so the town council is picking up the cost instead.
Santa Claus’ will dash through the town when the Great Thatcham Santa Run returns on Sunday, December 8.
Runners don red Santa suits for the 5km run organised by Thatcham Rotary Club.
The event starts at 11am and money raised is donated to local charities.
More information can be found at http://rotarythatcham.org.uk/index.html
Mr Cole said: “Thatcham has a vibrant community spirit and I am delighted that the council have enhanced the weekend to run from the Friday evening lights turn-on through a full events programme on Saturday and ending with the Rotary Santa Fun Run on Sunday to really warm up for Christmas.”
A civic carol service will be held at St Mary’s Church, at 4pm on Sunday, December 15.
Refreshments will be served afterwards and a collection will be held for the mayor’s charities, Daisy’s Dream and Young People and Children First. No tickets are required and children are welcome.