Last month saw Abingdon’s Christmas Extravaganza take place for the first time since 2019. However, the event has evolved and changed since it began.


Director, Heather Brown said “The Extravaganza has been the Abingdon Christmas Lights Switch-On event for as far back as many of us can remember.” Over a decade ago the event was responsibility of the Town council where long committee meetings were held in order to plan the event. At this time the event was held on a weeknight and shops stayed open for late night Christmas shopping.

Around a decade ago a member of the committee, The Chamber of Commerce, took the leading role in the event with the council who still to this day organise the lights and the switch on itself. The Chamber of Commerce made one significant change to the event, having it held on a Saturday afternoon into the evening rather than on a weeknight. Heather Brown said, “Another addition at this time was the Bath Street Christmas market.”

This was the format of the event for many years until in 2020 where Covid-19 restrictions resulted in the event unable to go ahead. It also couldn’t go ahead in 2021 as a result of being understaffed. At this time the Abingdon Events Partnership was being formed and went on to take over this year’s extravaganza for the first time. The new establishment formed a community committee and invited anyone that was interested in helping at the event to meetings to discuss and plan the event.

Heather Brown when asked how she thought it went this year she said, “After this first year we will review every element of the event and make some changes for the future based on what the community would like the event to become.”