ANDOVER residents are invited to get into the Christmas spirit with the Andover Christmas Festival, including the festive lights switch-on, on Friday, November 17.

The event will run from 4pm to 8pm, held by Test Valley Borough Council, InAndover from Andover BID and Andover Town Council.

It will feature three main stages with performances. As well as children’s activities, a Christmas market, street theatre and festive refreshments.

Here is what will be taking place throughout the town centre: 

Guildhall Stage:

A line-up of music acts will perform a collection of Christmas songs and dances.

Acts include choirs from Vigo, Anton and Pilgrim’s Cross schools, Andover Youth Dance Company, RAPSO Steel Band and headliner Nokando.

There will be a free face painting stand for children, as well as fairground rides.

The Christmas lights will be switched on from the Guildhall at 6pm by the Mayor of Andover, Cllr Robin Hughes, with help from Father Christmas.

Bridge Street:

The Christmas Market in Bridge Street will feature businesses selling a variety of gifts, from original art to handmade jewellery and gin. Groups, such as Andover Town Band and Ingenious Gentlemen, will perform carols from the Bridge Street stage throughout the evening.

Town Mills Riverside Park:

Refreshments will be available at Town Mills Riverside Park with food and drink stalls featuring freshly cooked street food, drinks, and sweet treats.  

Live music will be performed at the Town Mills stage in the park area behind the Pub featuring local singer/songwriters and bands such as Maddisson A, Swan Samba band, and headliners No Way Out. 

Chantry Centre:

Next to the Chantry Centre multistorey car park, The Yard Bar will sell a selection of hot and cold drinks including craft beers and cocktails.

Children’s activities can be found inside the Chantry Centre with a special tale of Cinderella and magic shows. Both activities will be free and run throughout the evening, in a unit next to Waterstones.

The popular Christmas Grotto will also be open for the first time in the Chantry Centre this year. Father Christmas will be flying in from the North Pole to the indoor garden, next to Boswell’s, and children will have the chance to meet him and collect a special gift. Tickets cost £5 per child and can be purchased at the entrance.

For anyone not able to meet Father Christmas on the night, the grotto will be back open on various other dates throughout November and December, more details can be found at

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Cllr Phil North, said: “The Andover Christmas Festival is always such a wonderful event, which so many people love to be a part of. This year there will be plenty of activities in store, with some brilliant entertainment from local performers and a variety of independent businesses joining in the fun.

“I hope everyone has a fabulous time celebrating with their friends and families in the town.”

Shelley Coburn, BID manager said: "We are thrilled to collaborate with Test Valley Borough Council and Andover Town Council to bring the Andover Christmas Festival to the heart of our town. This event is our biggest and hopefully best event of the year for Andover, and it's great for InAndover to play a pivotal role in making it a reality."