Ain’t no party like Banbury’s Old Town Party

Gaetano and Marta Santoro playing Jenga NNL-150305-124002009
Gaetano and Marta Santoro playing Jenga NNL-150305-124002009

Well over a thousand shoppers flocked to Banbury on Saturday to support firms hosting the first ever Old Town Spring Party.

Live music, food and dozens of free activities for all the family were on offer throughout the day, while Sweet Celebrations and Helen & Douglas House scooped the prize for the best dressed window competition with their colourful displays.

Kerry Jay from Come to my Party making balloon animals for Ivy Jackson (3) and dad Brent NNL-150305-124345009

Kerry Jay from Come to my Party making balloon animals for Ivy Jackson (3) and dad Brent NNL-150305-124345009

Barry Whitehouse, of the Old Town Traders’ Association, said: “It was absolutely wonderful. The weather held off and the streets were busy and bustling; everywhere you looked there were street performers.

“I would like to thank Banbury Town Council, Cherwell District Council, Castle Quay Shopping Centre, Sketts Market and Planet Neptune for their help.”

For Banbury’s many smaller businesses, the Old Town Spring Party was a chance to reach new customers and make the case for shopping local.

Tracey O’Carroll of Banbury Sewing Centre said the event didn’t increase her footfall, but was still vital in attracting more people into the town centre. She said: “The small retailers noticed a difference and it is a nice day out for the kids as well.”

Guido Acampora from Pizza Calzone making a pizza face with Lottie Owen (7) NNL-150305-124052009

Guido Acampora from Pizza Calzone making a pizza face with Lottie Owen (7) NNL-150305-124052009

And this wasn’t just the case for independent stores, charity shops like Helen & Douglas House in Church Street also saw a benefit.

Store manager Gereldine Pinto said: “We had a really good day and lots of people were coming over to visit. I also put a local of work into my store display and promoting it on social media.

“I think these events are vital to sustaining the growth and footprint in the town.

“We want to pull customers from Castle Quay and get them coming into our stores aswell.”

Chloe Reynolds performing with Joanne Mills School of Dance NNL-150305-124021009

Chloe Reynolds performing with Joanne Mills School of Dance NNL-150305-124021009