Woodley Winter Extravaganza this weekendBy Caroline Cook
December 03, 2010
This weekend, it’s Woodley’s turn to switch on its festive lights and enjoy a winter party. Caroline Cook rocks around the Christmas tree
Rudolph's pals will be rocking around the Christmas tree this weekend when a group of real reindeer fly over to Woodley to join in the festivities at the 14th Winter Extravaganza.
The reindeer will lead the way for Father Christmas, decked in his red suit and with bundles of presents in his sleigh, as he joins the procession through the town centre from 11.15am before setting up home in his grotto under the Pagoda.
Little ones will be able to go along and share their Christmas wishes with Santa and they might even be able to pick up a small gift to keep them going until the big day.
Throughout the winter extravaganza on Sunday, December 5, there will also be a whole variety of toe-tapping entertainers and festive craft stalls to keep visitors entertained.
Christmas shoppers will be able to get an early start when charity, craft and trade stalls unwrap their gifts from 10am and fill their tables with glittering items for all the family.
Woodley’s town centre manager, Jacques Lherbier, is organising the event for the third time and is hoping this year will be bigger and better than ever.
“Preparation is in full swing and it’s going very well,” he says.
“There are quite a few last-minute stalls that have come in and it looks like it’s going to be a very good event.”
As the town wakes up and visitors fill the high street for festive fun the sounds of popular carols and wintery anthems will fill the air when the main stage opens at 11am.
Pupils from Beechwood School in Ambleside Close, will be the first to wow the crowds on the stage before Berzerk Productions give shoppers a taster snippet of their latest magical production, Once Upon a Time.
Music and dancing will continue throughout the day with Street Feet Dance, the Castle Jazz Band, Elements Dance and Drama School, Razzamataz Theatre School, the Sainsbury Singers and Starlets Dance School.
The Rock Choir will whip up a musical storm when they take to the stage at 2.30pm to present traditional Christmas songs with their unique twist.
Street entertainers will be found mingling with the crowd. Performers include Circus Scene, Electric Cabaret and the Borderline Morris Dancers. Between them, they will create a lively atmosphere as they sing and dance around the precinct.
For those looking to warm up against the winter weather Woodley Library in Headley Road will be opening its doors and enticing shoppers in with a cosy atmosphere, family crafts and music from the Reading Symphony Orchestra from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
No winter extravaganza would be complete without some tasty treats so there will be pink fluffy candy floss on offer to keep the little ones and shoppers sweet.
With climbing walls, a football cage and roundabout rides for small people, the day will be packed to the brim with festive fun and activities.
And to make the Woodley Winter Extravaganza even more special, the town centre will also be lit up with dazzling new Christmas lights to create a magical atmosphere.
“It is a big event and it should be a very good weekend,” Jacques says. “I’m looking forward to seeing the new Christmas lights and to everyone coming along and joining in the fun.”
- The grand light switch-on will be the day before – Saturday, December 4 – at 4.30pm. The Woodley and Earley Lions Club Tree of Light will also be turned on to a backdrop of carols from the Woodley Concert Band and Reading Operatic Society.
Meanwhile visitors can tuck into traditional festive goodies including mulled wine, hot roast chestnuts and mince pies frosted with sugar, to get everyone in the Christmas mood.
- For more details, log on to www.woodleytowncentre.co.uk.