Dragons, music and late-night shopping for Christmas Lights Switch-On in Buckingham
and live on Freeview channel 276
The huge interactive dragon is just one of the fun activities on offer.
The event kicks off at 4pm with stilt walkers to meet, a Christmassy Market, free crafts at the Chantry Chapel, festive stilt walkers, small children’s fairground rides, Bucks Radio Bear meet and greet and a traditional appearance from the Buckingham Table’s Santa Van.
Taking to the stage will be Buckingham Stagecoach Buckingham who will perform a Christmas showcase with songs from Nativity the Musical, the Greatest Showman and White Christmas, dramatic scenes and soloists.
The Great Horwood Silver Band will perform a mix of old and new Christmas carols and songs with song sheets on hand for anyone who would like to join in. Finally, The Buckingham School will take to the stage to perform pieces from their upcoming musical Frozen.
The Christmas Lights will be turned on at 5.30pm by the Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr Anja Schaefer, and the winners of the 2023 Mayor’s Christmas Card Competition: George, Yukthi, Martha and Millie.
The ancient Cattle Pens will be lined with festoon lighting and stalls, run by local charities including Alec’s Angels and traders who will be selling a wide variety of handmade items from jewellery, to preserves, fudge, soaps, homeware, etched glassware, festive gifts and so much more.
Local businesses will be offering hot food and refreshments to tantalise your taste buds. We will be joined by The Grand Junction who will be selling burgers, hotdogs, as well as a vegan option, and a selection of boozy hot drinks. The Kings Head will be offering traditional mulled wine and hot chocolates.
Alongside this, some of the Buckingham’s independent shops located in the Hidden Quarter and Cornwall’s Meadow part of town will be open later for residents to enjoy a festive late-night shopping experience including, Finca El Monte, Courtyard No6, The Nimble Thimble, Florence Nightingale Vintage Charity Shop, Bea & Aud Lifestyle, Dandy Lions Boutique, Sweet Autumn, Greetings Plus and the Caravin Wine Shop. Please stop by and show your support.
New for 2023, is the introduction of a quiet zone, a great space for a pit stop, which will be located in the cattle pens area and offer sensory toys and mindful activities for anyone that needs a small break during the proceedings.
There will also be a accessible viewing area to the right and front of the stage in Market Hill. Do look out for the accessible viewing area signs or ask a Town Council event marshal for directions.
As well as this, people of all ages are invited to visit the Buckingham Chantry Chapel to enjoy a warm space and create their very own Christmas decoration, completely free of charge.
The pedestrianised area of Market Hill and the Cattle Pens will close to traffic at 1pm on the day to allow for the event team to begin setting up. If you have parked in this area, please remember to move your cars before 1pm.
Cllr Robin Stuchbury, Chair of the Town Centre & Events Committee, said that: “Officers working with the Town Centre and Events committee hope to see as many people as possible at the Christmas Lights Switch On.
"This year, it was agreed to have an earlier switch on, on a different day to promote trade within the town centre and add different elements to the event, such as the Dragon.
"Changing to a weekday also increased the opportunity for traders to be able to be involved by moving the event away from being held on a street market day. This a valuable community event and we sincerely hope to see everybody there and share in turning on the Christmas lights together in Buckingham town centre.”