Abingdon Christmas Extravaganza 2013

The Theme of the all day Extravaganza in Abingdon was Cinderella.

The Oxford Caledonian Pipe Band led the Extravaganza Parade along Stert Street at midday.

In the Parade, The Mayor, Samantha Bowring, led the Town Councillors.

Father Christmas, as always, was at the back of the parade.

The Rotary Club were serving mulled wine and had on display some of their Shelter Boxes. Each ShelterBox contains a tent, water purification kit, blankets, tools, and other necessities to help a family survive after a disaster, and many have been sent to the Philippines. Shelter Boxes are often the first disaster relief to be deployed.

There were stalls and entertainment in the Market Place and a lot more stalls, a Punch and Judy, and some reindeer in Bath Street.

The event was organised by Abingdon-on-Thames Chamber of Commerce, and the main sponsor was the newly re-opened Crown and Thistle. It ended with he lights being switched on and fireworks. There were big crowds to watch.

More pictures of the Extravaganza and Parade can be seen in the Abingdon Blog Facebook Album.

14 thoughts on “Abingdon Christmas Extravaganza 2013

  1. Hester

    Brilliant day – great to see so many people in town and enjoying themselves. Enormous congratulations to the Chamber of Commerce and Choose Abingdon people who put in many many hours of their own time to make it happen (I suspect that they are still working to clear up asI write this).

    But so many others contributed – town centre shops getting in the spirit, community groups manning their stalls in the cold, musicians performing, Council staff providing the infrastructure, big businesses providing sponsorship (Mays fireworks were stunning). Well done Abingdon!

  2. Kelly Simpson

    It was a fantastic day. So well organised by so many people. Great to see Abingdon buzzing. Pity it can’t happen every day.

  3. minky

    A change of direction and leadership is needed, while I appreciate the organisers are all volunteers, perhaps its time the councils brought in professional event organisers?
    i.e, we drove in from Didcot to the hyped “free parking” only to be told the town council wasn’t part of it, so we had to feed the meter in the street (and that only allowed 2 hrs parking)
    There was nothing for the children, no fair (we had one in didcot) not even a roundabout, punch&judy, candy floss face painters etc, there was nothing at all in your new precinct, why? Apart from the Pipes and cadets the parade was very poor, who wants to see a lot of muppet looking councillors who only appear when there’s a jolly to be had? Why didn’t you get anything from Dalton Barracks and the MG club? built in Abingdon and the largest single Marque in the world, but not represented? Morland,aka Greene King, not there either?
    We were in the car going back home by 12.30, but we did come back at 5 ish to see the fireworks, they were very good, but what on earth people were expected to do in the six hours between the “Parade” and fireworks is beyond me?
    Minky & fam

  4. Happy resident

    We watched an awesome punch and judy show – and our daughter had her face painted! – not too sure where the people above had looked.

    Well done to those who gave time and energy for a nother community building day.

    Thank you.

  5. HelenP

    The Extravaganza Day is now organised by the Abingdon Chamber of Commerce. I am sure they would be pleased to receive any constructive comments.

    For clarification, the on street parking is the responsibility of the County Council and I don’t know if they were approached to take part in the free parking day. But it is a bit confusing.

  6. Kelly Simpson

    Not sure what event Minky was at. My children had their faces painted, watched Punch and Judy, petted the farm animals and reindeer, met Father Christmas, enjoyed the activities for children in the Church and also the market place entertainment for most of the afternoon.
    I for one am glad there is no longer any form of fair – that is not part of Christmas, is expensive and causes some children to pester to go on it. I would rather spend money on charity stalls.
    We arrived mid morning and parked quite easily in a car park – free all day. We found something to do all day, including shopping in some of the excellent independent shops, finishing with the excellent fireworks.
    As I understand it, there was nothing in the precinct because the owners wouldn’t allow it. You can’t force people to participate, just as you can’t drag people into a parade.
    My one suggestion would be to have some sort of board, probably in the market place, to actually list what is happening when so everyone can find out and arrange their day accordingly.

  7. Minky

    We went to the Saint Helen’s car park, which was full, so we parked in Saint Helen’s St but was told to pay or have a ticket. We could’nt find any face painters or a Punch & Judy show?? where/which church had the childrens events? we didn’t see any info on that.

  8. Cassandra

    There were stalls and the Punch and Judy in Bath Street. I agree though, a plan or map would have been helpful (as well as a timetable). I know that there was a map in one of the Abingdon publications but I am sure that a plan of the events would have been helpful for visitors. However, these things are only found out by experience, so I am sure that the organisers will have this in hand for next year.
    But it was a great day and lovely to see Abingdon so busy and upbeat. It was good to see a lot of the activities were happening in Bath Street. I am sure that it brought some extra custom to the businesses there and that is a good thing.

  9. Nick

    All round a remarkably good day. Great stalls, food and drink. The children loved it and the independent spirit of Abingdon’s traders and community groups really came through. Hats off to the Crown and Thistle for sponsoring this event. All in all a great effort – well done.

  10. Ali

    I thought it was a great event, there were numerous stalls, a mini farm yard, reindeers, mulled wine. The local brewery were there which is way better than having Greene King present. They started having stalls in Bath Street last year to make more of the town feel included. There was a sign outside St Nicholas church & the doors were wide open! The owners of the precinct said last year it couldn’t be used hence why no stalls but to be honest I think this was a good thing due the volume of people. There was a stage which was manned by people in high vis jackets so would make sense if you are a little unsure what activities are taking place that you would go & ask them. There were dancers, jugglers, musicians. I could go on…not everyone wants a fair. Abingdon has three days of it in October & for me doesn’t represent Christmas. All the car parks were free there are at least 3. I do think a board with a big map on it would help though. I say well done to the organisers. Not an easy job.

  11. Neil Fawcett

    It was a great day, well done to all involved.

    Moving it to the Saturday has proven to be a great idea.

    On the point about the parade – I know that quite a lot of businesses and organisations do get invited but many aren’t interested.

    And, personally, I’d much rather support the Loose Cannon Brewery than have Morlands!

  12. Angela

    A fantastic day, with lots going on. Well done everyone involved.
    I agree with Kelly -post 6 – this is not the time for fairground rides.
    While many people managed to find what was on offer it wouldn’t have been so obvious where to look if you are not local, so a well placed street plan is a good idea. I’m sure it will be noted for next year.


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