People flock to Brackley town centre as festivities begin


This year’s event had been expanded to include a Christmas market

The countdown to Christmas in Brackley has begun.   The Christmas lights were turned on yesterday afternoon (Saturday) as part of a festive afternoon in the town.

Hundreds of people packed the Market Square to enjoy the gifts and treats on offer at a Christmas Market.   The new addition to this year’s event featured stalls packed with food and drinks offers and ideas for those hunting for Christmas presents.

Despite the weather having turned colder people happily enjoyed the festive atmosphere.

Then, with help from Brackley Round Table, Father Christmas and Brackley Town Mayor, Councillor Sue Sharps led a parade of children displaying the lanterns they had created at workshops over the last few days.   The parade made its way from Winchester House, down the High Street, joining the revellers at the Christmas Market.

Father Christmas and Councillor Sharps then invited those surrounding Santa’s float to join them counting down the lighting of the town’s festive illuminations.

Councillor Sharps told us she was delighted with the number of people there.   She said: “It is a fabulous turn out – almost all of Brackley is here, despite the chilly weather.   Its wonderful – they’re all wearing their hats and they’re very festive.”

Brackley’s Mayor is also encouraging people to support local businesses as they make their festive preparations.   She said: “Shop local if you can.  We’ve got a butchers here, book shop, clothes shops, florists right on the High Street.   I personally shop in all of them from one shop to the other.  We have to remember how much they supported us and now we need to pay that back for a strong town in the future.”

This year’s lights do not include a number of larger trees along the High Street, which have been installed since 2016.   The Council says this because their supplier has let them down.   A spokesperson said: “Preparations from the Brackley Town Council team began in February 2023 and we are extremely sad, frustrated and disappointed in the service we have received for this year’s installation.”

The smaller number of lights in the town didn’t appear to dent people’s enthusiasm for the event, with many remaining after the lights were on to enjoy the Christmas Market.

The day marked the first outing for Brackley Round Table’s Christmas Float tour of 2023.   Full details of where and when to catch Father Christmas can be found here.

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Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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