Cheltenham's countdown to Christmas begins

Published on 3rd November 2016

Santa decoration

The fun starts on Thursday 24 November, on the High Street and Promenade.

An evening of Christmas fun, music and children’s entertainment will light up Cheltenham on Thursday 24 November when families are encouraged to come along and soak up the atmosphere. The evening – centred around the High Street and Promenade - will launch late night shopping and the borough council’s free car parking offer at two town centre car parks.

The day will begin when Cheltenham’s Christmas market opens for the first time, with a tempting range of gift ideas and delicious food on offer. From 4pm, families can enjoy outdoor entertainment from a host of street entertainers and of course on their travels they may well bump into Father Christmas. The lights will go on around the town centre and Promenade at 7pm.

Kevan Blackadder, director of Cheltenham’s Business Improvement District said:  ‘’The town centre always feels special when the Christmas lights go on and this year is no exception, as so much will be happening throughout the day right up until late evening. I’m looking forward to welcoming back the popular Christmas market which will begin trading that morning and continue through to the evening. Later on, the town centre will be buzzing with family entertainers, music and of course a chance to take advantage of late night shopping and free parking.’’

The line-up of entertainment includes:

  • Thomas Trilby, a stilt walker and juggler, offering plenty of comedy and interaction
  • Jacks of Frost, a twinkling twosome on stilts who are bound to turn a few heads
  • The Lost Elves, astride Rudolf’s back, they roam our Christmas streets on the lookout for Father Christmas
  • Balloonatic, this wonderful balloon-art street act decorates people with incredible hats and gets everyone laughing; they will even amaze passers-by with their astonishing caricatures (made entirely from balloons).

Other performances will come from My Stage School, Promenade Productions, APT Dance and Theatre Company, Cheltenham Salvation Army Band and talented young performer, Harry Smith.

Many shops across the town centre will open until the later time of 9pm from Thursday 24 November and on each Thursday thereafter until Christmas. The Wilson art gallery & museum will be open until 7:45pm on Thursdays with its new blockbuster exhibition, Last Word in Art? featuring Tracey Emin, Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney.

What’s more, for four Thursdays from 24 November until 15 December, shoppers can enjoy free parking at Regent Arcade and Town Centre East car parks, from 5.30pm until 9pm.

Cheltenham’s residents and visitors can look forward to a variety of events this Christmas including panto with Jack and the Beanstalk at the Everyman, A Christmas Carol at the Bacon Theatre, The Snow Queen at the Playhouse, The Snowman at the Cheltenham Town Hall, not forgetting New Year’s Day racing at Cheltenham Racecourse. See www.visitcheltenham.com  ‘What’s On’ for more upcoming yuletide events.


For press enquiries contact: Katie Sandey, communications and web team leader, on 01242 775037 or email communications@cheltenham.gov.uk