Feel the festive spirit at big Banbury Academy event

Pupils and staff at Banbury Academy preparing for the event

Pupils and staff at Banbury Academy preparing for the event

Christmas cheer will be coming to Banbury on Friday December 9 with a feast of festive fun.

Banbury Academy and Avocet Theatre Company are teaming up to present A Winter Wonderland – and the whole town is invited to share in the festivities.

The event includes a Christmas market, live performances, Santa’s Grotto, an immersive Narnia experience, fairground rides, a virtual reality experience, a scientific Christmas adventure, Christmas characters, refreshments, games, competitions and more.

Sylvia Thomas, principal of Banbury Aspirations Campus, said: “We are so pleased to be teaming up with Avocet Theatre Company to hold an event that the whole family can enjoy.

“The students and staff have been working closely with the team at ATC and the result is something magical and unique.”

The Narnia experience will involve guests stepping through the wardrobe and into the land of CS Lewis’s classic tale of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Visitors can interact with some of the characters and try to avoid the villainous White Witch.

Ben Coleman, chairman and artistic director of Avocet Theatre Company, said: “When we formed a year ago, our ethos was to look for new ways to push the boundaries and create new and memorable theatrical experiences for the people of Banbury.

“This year we wanted to produce an event that encapsulated the community spirit that makes Christmas a magical time and we are so pleased that Banbury Academy supports that vision. This is truly an event that will bring Banbury together.”

Space Studio Banbury has created a scientific Christmas adventure with the staff and students providing a modern virtual reality headset experience, a trip into an inflatable planetarium and a chance for guests to ‘grow’ their own silver Christmas trees and create snow.

Charities and non-profit organisations have also been invited to the event in order to raise awareness of their causes with Dogs for Good, Banbury Operatic Society and Banbury Young Carers among those taking part.

Entry to Winter Wonderland is free. It takes place at the Banbury Academy campus from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Call 251491 for details.