It is the night to celebrate the best of Wantage.
The Wantage Dickensian Evening is a Christmas festival held on the first Friday in December in and around Wantage Market Place.
It is a free social community event organised by a group of volunteers and supported by the Wantage Town Council and local sponsors. It is an evening of various activities with a lovely Christmas feel, including seasonal music and light.
Initially, it was designed to promote Christmas shopping and allow the local retailers to thank their customers for supporting them over the year, but over the last 20 years, it has evolved into a richer experience for everyone.
Enjoy Christmas attractions and start your holiday shopping, including Christmas activities for children, switch-on of the Christmas lights by the Mayor of Wantage, Christmas Carols with Wantage Silver Band and the Parish Church Choir, holiday shopping, and more.
Expect a night of fun.
In the last few years, they’ve had various charity and commercial stalls, community groups featuring their work, local artists and performers featuring their seasonal programme, Christmas activities for children (Father Christmas arriving at his Grotto on a sleigh drawn by a magical sparkly pony, real reindeer, donkeys from the Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary, switch on of the Christmas Lights by the Mayor of Wantage and local radio presenter, Christmas Carols with Wantage Silver Band and the Parish Church Choir), Icknield Way Morris Men and folk band Greengage. There has also been a fun fair on the night.
Everyone is invited to dress up in period costumes for this Christmas festival. Dress up in Victorian costume if you possibly can – makes it even more fun! You can visit a fancy dress shop, but many people prefer to make their own costumes from clothes bought from charity shops mixed with old stuff from the back of the wardrobe.
Expect road closures from 4.00pm to around 11.00pm. The whole of Market Place and the road leading to it will be closed to all vehicular access.