Wantage Dickensian Evening is a Christmas festival held in and around Wantage Market Place, Oxfordshire, on the first Friday of December every year. Dress up in period costume, enjoy Christmas attractions and start your holiday shopping. It is the night to celebrate the best of Wantage!
Wantage Dickensian Evening is always held on the first Friday in December. 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 which has a nice Christmas feel with 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 our guests.
In the last few years we 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 to 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). Local folk band Pandemonium play Christmas music in the museum. We also have a fun fair on the night.
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Every year we are doing our best to provide many interesting activities depending on the financial support provided by our sponsors. The evening starts at 6 PM and lasts until 9 PM. The roads into Wantage Market place are closed at 4PM to enable the set up of stalls and planned attractions. If you wish to get involved by volunteering or running a stall please get in touch!
Don’t forget to 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 the charity shops mixed with old stuff from the back of the wardrobe :O)