Christmas light switch on events in Berkshire
PUBLISHED: 14:44 17 November 2014 | UPDATED: 11:44 29 November 2017
Christmas lights show our towns and villages at their magical best. Switch On and shopping events have become an important tradition, getting everyone into the festive spirit and are often accompanied by seasonal activities, food and drink.
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Ascot and The Sunnings
On Sunday 16 November, 12-4pm, Sunninghill is holding its hugely popular Victorian Street Fayre. Stalls line the High Street selling cards, gifts, festive decorations and delicious food. Children will be entertained by Punch & Judy and fairground rides and the Quince Players will be selling tickets for their New Year pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
On Friday 22 and Saturday 23 November Ascot Racecourse hosts a Christmas Shopping village in conjunction with Country Living along the concourse level of the Grandstand, www.ascot.co.uk.
On Friday 28 November 5-7pm the Sunningdale Christmas lights will be switched on by a celebrity. Local school choirs will perform and street stalls will be selling festive food and drink. Shops and cafes will stay open late and Father Christmas will be there with his reindeer.
Bracknell has a Christmas Lights switch-on in Princess Square at 4.30pm on Sunday 30 November, and a second one in Charles Square at 5.10pm which will be followed by a spectacular firework display. The event will be hosted by Heart FM with DJ Toby Anstis with special guests yet to be revealed. There will be a performance from the local Glee club in Princess Square at 4pm and appearances by Peppa Pig from 10am – 4pm.
The Christmas Lights will be switched on at 6pm on Sunday 30 November. Details were still being finalised as we went to press but it’s hoped there will be a hog roast and other stalls selling hot mulled apple juice and roasted chestnuts and entertainment from local schools and theatre. The Town Band will perform traditional carols for the crowd to sing along to and the fairy lights on the numerous Christmas trees throughout the High Street will provide a winter wonderland setting.
The Maidenhead Christmas Festival is on 22 November, 10am-4pm. Throughout the day there will be craft and food stalls in the High Street and Queen Street and funfair rides in St Ives Road. The Lights Switch On event starts at 5pm with live music and entertainment at the Town Hall followed by the countdown and switching on at 6pm.
Enjoy the National Trust Christmas Trail at nearby Cliveden. Every weekend before Christmas this seasonal trail will lead you round the grounds to find some early stocking filler gifts. £5 plus usual admission.
Also at Cliveden, take part in a Christmas workshop, Fun With Felt, on 4 December 10.30am-3.30pm, £45. Booking essential.
On Sunday 30 November there will be entertainment throughout the day with live music and stalls selling Christmas gifts. The Parade starts at 5.30pm and at 6.30pm the Christmas lights switch-on will take place. There will be hot food, sweets and doughnuts available in the Market Place.
The Christmas lights will be switched on across Reading on Saturday 15 November. Combine your Christmas shopping with entertainment and what organisers insist is the biggest Christmas lights display in the region. At Broad Street Mall, the grand switch on takes place at 4pm when the lights will be switched on by celebrities. There will be entertainment in the Mall from noon.
At the Oracle, get set to ooh and ahh at the spectacular firework show and air display. The free event promises to light up the sky, and will be hosted by DJ Toby Anstis on Saturday 15 November from 7pm at The Riverside. And that’s not all… Soak up the atmosphere and sip a warming mulled glühwein or enjoy a Bavarian beer along The Riverside, go skating in the open-air ice rink or find charming gifts in the Christmas market.
The Christmas Lights celebration take place on Friday 5 December. 5 -7pm in The Broadway with live entertainment on stage before the lights are switched on at 7pm. Visit Santa’s grotto and enjoy the numerous charity stalls. Many of the town centre shops will be open late.
The village centre will be packed out on Friday 5 December from 6pm for the Twyford Village Partnership Christmas Fayre with stallholders, carol singers, entertainers and a visit by Father Christmas.
Windsor and Eton
On Saturday 15 November Windsor Christmas Lights will be switched on following the ever-popular children lantern procession at 3.30pm. There will be a full programme of live entertainment from a purpose built stage in front of Windsor Castle.
On Thursday 20 November the Eton Town Christmas Lights Switch On and Lantern Parade will start with carols inside Eton College Chapel followed by the parade led by Father Christmas. The Eton College and Eton Porny School choir will be performing with more carols and band performances to follow. In aid of Alexander Devine Trust.
On Saturday 6 December the ever popular Reindeer Parade, sponsored by King Edward Court winds its way through the streets of Windsor, starting at 2pm at Windsor Castle and finishing at the rear of Daniel department store. Father Christmas’s sleigh will be pulled by real reindeer and accompanied by a marching band and other Christmas characters. Have your photo taken with Father Christmas on his sleigh until 4pm. Daniels Christmas Grotto is back so make sure your visit from 19 November, open Saturdays and Sundays throughout November and first weekend of December, and every day from 12 December to Christmas Eve, 10.30am to 4.30pm.
Windsor Royal Shopping is a sparkling place at Christmas, and it’s not just the lights. Their Breakfast with Santa events at Café Rouge are on 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24 December. You need to book for this highly popular event.
The Wokingham Winter Carnival takes place on Sunday 30 November 30, 11am - 7pm in the town centre with a theme of The Magic of the Movies. Attractions include fun fair rides, over 100 food, craft and charity stalls, non-stop free entertainment including a magic show, Punch & Judy, comedy jugglers, clowns and other special entertainers. Santa’s Grotto is again expected to be in the warmth of the Library from 11am - 3pm.
Berkshire Maestros will be providing live music throughout the day on the Market Place stage and the super Rock Choir will perform. The highlight of the day is the Carnival Procession which starts at 4pm and winds its way through the town as dusk falls. A great spectacle with decorated floats, bands, assorted vehicles and costumed walkers, it also provides an opportunity to empty your pockets of loose change and pop it into the charity buckets.
The Christmas Lights Switch On takes place on Saturday 29 November at 4.30 -5.30pm, accompanied by musical entertainment, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. Local schoolchildren have been busy designing posters to publicise the event and the winners of the competition will switch on the lights. In addition to the main tree there will be a Tree of Light to commemorate people’s loved-ones.
The following Sunday 7 December marks the start of the 18th Woodley Winter Extravaganza with gift stalls and entertainment on stage. Santa will arrive with gifts for the children and there will be music and entertainment all day with jugglers, stiltwalkers, unicyclists, clowns and Morris dancers, a big Ferris Wheel, climbing wall, kiddies’ fairground rides, a candyfloss and a bouncy castle.