All the 2021 Christmas lights switch-on events in Oxfordshire

All the Christmas lights switch-on events in Oxfordshire in 2019
Scene from previous Christmas lights switch-on event in Henley-on-Thames

About the 2021 Christmas lights switch-on events  in Oxfordshire

’Tis the time of the year to see the county at its most sparkly.

Oxford and towns centres across Oxfordshire will sparkle positively this Christmas season, once the lights come on for Christmas 2021. And, after the year we’ve had, we all deserve a bit of sparkle in our lives this Christmas.

Here are all the Christmas lights switch on events in Oxfordshire in 2021 that you need to know about. A big ‘Thank you’ to the town councils, chambers of commerce, associations, charities, groups and businesses who organise and support these events.

It’s probably worth pointing out that all these events are subject to change or cancellations. In other words, they’ll be adapted (or cancelled) in line with any Government guidance in place on public gatherings at the time. But for now, here’s some of what to expect in 2021.

Oxford

Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival 2020 - What’s on in Oxford and across Oxfordshire this November

Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival 2021

19 to 21 November
Oxford City Centre

The festival has been taking place since 2009, and it has evolved over the years from a single evening’s event in the city centre to a full three day weekend that includes light and sound installations, a festive market, music, dance and lots of free activities in venues across the city, and more recently to light trails and events in residential areas of the city.

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Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace Illuminated Christmas Lights Trail 2021

Blenheim Palace Illuminated Christmas Lights Trail 2021

19 November to 02 January
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

It’s the most wonderful time of the year when over a million lights, lasers and seasonal sounds fill the air with festive fun through the Palace’s picture-perfect gardens. Look forward to some together time with family and friends or have yourself a holly, jolly Christmas - complete with a walk under the stars with a *spiced winter warmer or *hot chocolate shared with someone special.

*separate charges apply

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Banbury

Banbury Festive Lantern Parade & Festive Light Show Switch On

Banbury Christmas Lights Switch-on 2021

20 November
Banbury Market Place

This year, a children’s lantern parade and a festive film show will launch Christmas in Banbury on Saturday, 20 November. 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 Market Place.

The parade, which will start at 5.00pm, will herald the first showing of this year’s Christmas movie, which will then be shown on a rolling basis at dusk every day until 05 January 2022. The film has been described as a festive story with a magical feel.

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Henley-on-Thames

Henley Christmas Festival 2019 in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Henley Christmas Festival 2021

26 November
Henley-on-Thames Town Centre

Christmas launches in Henley-on-Thames with the annual Christmas Festival that takes place on Bell Street, Duke Street, Friday Street, Hart Street and the Market Place. And the Henley Christmas Festival 2019 will likely take place on Friday 26 November 2021 (the last Friday in November) based on previous years.

Expect Father Christmas in his grotto, Reindeer led Childrens’ Lantern Parade, carol singing, and Christmas attractions for a magical evening, and a chance to do some Christmas shopping, as well as sample the delights of mulled wine, mince pies, street food, arts and crafts and so much more, and the switch on of the large Christmas tree lights in Market Place at 7.00pm.

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Witney

Witney Christmas Lights Switch-on Event 2020

Witney Christmas Lights Switch-on Event 2021

26 November
Witney Market Square

The Witney Christmas lights switch-on event is a family event with live music, stalls, Santa’s Grotto, food and funfair. Lights go on at 6.00pm.

Jointly organised by the Witney Rotary Club, Witney Lions and Witney Round Table and supported by the Witney Town Council, the Christmas lights switch-on event attracts thousands of people to the Market Square.

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Bicester

Bicester Christmas lights switch on

Bicester Christmas Lights Switch-on 2021

27 November
Bicester Town Centre

This is a family-focused festive event in the heart of the town where the community comes together as one to kick off the festive season. The event will start at noon, and there will be a host of activities to enjoy and festive stalls selling arts and crafts, gifts and food.

There will be lantern-making workshops during the day, followed by a lantern parade after dark. The festive lights will be switched on by the Town Mayor at around 6.00pm.

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Faringdon

Festive Faringdon Christmas Lights Switch-on

Faringdon Christmas Light Switch-on 2021

27 November
Market Place, Faringdon

Faringdon Christmas Light Switch On takes place on 27 November 2021 with Santa’s grotto in The Place, children’s Craft sessions in the Corn Exchange, Music in Market Place, and Light Switch on at 5.00pm.

There is a Faringdon Christmas Light Trail planned for 27 November to 03 January 2022. Decorate your home or business with a Christmas light display and be part of the fun trail. The Christmas market is on 04 December 2021 at Market Place from 10.00am to 1.00pm.

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Woodstock

Woodstock Festive Fayre and A Night of a Thousand Candles

A Night of a Thousand Candles, Woodstock

27 November
Market Place, Woodstock

Residents and visitors are warmly invited to a Night of a Thousand Candles in Woodstock. Come see the Christmas lights switched on and enjoy a great family event to start the festive season.

See Woodstock at its best with late shopping, great restaurants and pubs, the Woodstock Festive Fayre and Christmas fun in the Square. Expect a special guest from the North Pole, mystery performance on stage, great Christmas crepes, seasonal mulled wine, entertainment from Woodstock schools, as well as live music.

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Kidlington

Kidlington Christmas Lights Switch-on Event

Kidlington Christmas Lights Switch-on

02 December
Kidlington Centre

The Kidlington Christmas lights switch-on event usually takes place towards the end of November, with local school choirs, local Kidlington stalls, Santa's grotto, funfair rides, animal petting corner, concert brass band, hot and cold refreshments and lots more.

Hundreds of people turn out for the annual switch-on of the Christmas lights in the High Street and Piazza at 6.30pm, which is brought to you by the Kidlington Parish Council and The Kidlington Centre team.

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Carterton

Carterton Christmas Lights Switch-on event

Carterton Christmas Lights Switch-on 2021

03 December
Carterton Town Centre

Like many events last Christmas, Carterton’s annual Christmas lights switch-on and the lantern parade were cancelled. But this year, the annual Christmas event, will go ahead on Friday 03 December from 5.00pm to 8.00pm.

Expect a street fair with new stalls, crafts, gifts and refreshments, singing by the RAF Brize Norton Military Wives Choir, live music and funfair. And, of course, Father Christmas will be in his grotto.

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Thame

Thame Christmas Lights Switch-on

Thame Christmas Lights Switch-on 2021

03 December
Thame Town Centre

Ring in the festive season to Thame at the popular Christmas Lights Switch-on event hosted by Paddy Harris (Cornerstone Church) and Anthony Taylor (Grace Church).

Expect music by Thame Concert Band, mulled wine available from OX9ers, stilt walkers and late night shopping until 7.00pm. Santa will turn on the lights at 6.00pm alongside three children – one each from the local primary schools.

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Wantage

Wantage Dickensian Evening

Wantage Dickensian Evening 2021

03 December
Market Place, Wantage

Wantage Dickensian Evening is a Christmas festival held on the first Friday of December every year in and around Wantage Market Place. And everyone is invited to dress up in period costumes for this Christmas festival.

Enjoy Christmas attractions and start your holiday shopping, including switch-on of the Christmas lights by the Mayor of Wantage, Christmas carols with Wantage Silver Band and the Parish Church Choir, Father Christmas in the museum, childrens’ activities and much more.

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Faringdon

Christmas Lights On Festive Faringdon

Christmas Lights On Festive Faringdon 2020

Normally organised by The Rotary Club of Faringdon & District and supported by Faringdon Town Council, sadly there will be no Festive Faringdon Lights-On event in 2020. Nevertheless, the club will still make the town centre bright for Christmas.

Abingdon

Abingdon Christmas Extravaganza 2019

Abingdon Christmas Extravaganza 2021 (Not taking place)

Not taking place in 2021
Abingdon Town Centre

The Abingdon Christmas Extravaganza usually kicks off the festive season in Abingdon. It’s a family-focused festive event in the heart of the town where the community comes together as one.

In previous years, there has been Santa’s sleigh and lots of activities in Bath Street, Bury Street, Market Place and town shops, as well as activities for kids at St Nicolas Church and a traditional parade that takes place at midday with live music.

Abingdon Chamber of Commerce, the event organisers, are not holding the event in 2021.

Didcot

Didcot Christmas Street Fair

Didcot Christmas Street Fair 2021 (Not taking place)

Didcot Events team are sorry to say that this year’s Didcot Christmas Street fair cannot go ahead. For various reasons, they felt they could not be responsible for a sizeable event in Didcot which they could not restrict or control when people were still cautious about gathering in large numbers.

Knowing that many people will be disappointed and that charities, clubs and groups who raise money for their good causes will miss out, they have organised a couple of smaller events. The first event will be at the Marriott at Milton Gate on Sunday 21 November and the second in Market Place and hopefully the Orchard Centre on Sunday 05 December.

Burford

Burford for Christmas 2020

Last year, Burford's had a Christmas lights switch-on, and a day of festive fun (from 2:00 pm to 6:oopm) with Santa's grotto, family entertainment, food and drink, carol singing and Christmas shopping. The lights switch-on is at 4:30 pm.

We're pretty sure there isn't a Burford Christmas lights switch-on event planned for 2020, we would have heard about it by now. What we're not sure about is whether there'll be something else in its place. If you hear anything otherwise, do be sure to drop us a line.

We’ll be keeping this page updated with information about the Christmas lights switch on events in Oxfordshire in 2021. Do contact us if you have any updates to share.