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Christmas in Oldham Published: Friday, 11th November 2022

Christmas is about being with loved ones and there’s no better place to find your festive family fun than in Oldham, where an exciting line-up of free and affordable events will add yet more sparkle to the most wonderful time of the year.

What better way to get into the spirit of the season than by basking in the glow of twinkling Christmas lights at Oldham’s switch-on spectacular? The annual event outside the Old Town Hall returns on Saturday 19 November and kickstarts a programme of three events hosted by Oldham Council that promise joy for the whole family in the run-up to Christmas.

The fun starts at 5.30pm with a sneak preview of Oldham Theatre Workshop’s yuletide show The Night the Frost Fell, an enchanting tale about one child’s quest to lift a curse cast over his hometown by the snow-bringing sprite, Jack Frost. The 20-minute performance promises to thaw even the coldest hearts and has been specially adapted for the outdoors from the company’s full-length show at Oldham Library.

Expect audience participation and a whole lot of cheer from the crowds in Greaves Street to help flip the switch on the town’s lights, followed by a dazzling fireworks finale to bring the evening’s celebrations to a close and set the stage for the arrival of Santa and his sleigh-pulling helpers the following week.

The festivities continue Saturday 26 November when children and adults alike are invited to join Santa and his reindeer as they parade through Oldham town centre. The North Pole-themed event starts at 1pm with a 30-minute procession throughout the town, followed by street entertainment and a chance to meet Santa’s reindeers until 4pm.

After the parade, Santa will then hunker down in his grotto at Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre from 2pm, booking is available via the Spindles website for £4.50 plus 50p booking fee.

Oldham Council leader Amanda Chadderton said she was thrilled to offer and promote a programme of events in the run-up to Christmas to suit everyone’s budget.

“Christmas is a great time to be in Oldham and we have lots of traditional and exciting events that I hope will not only help bring people together but also celebrate where we live and our history.

“Now, more than ever, we need reasons to be cheerful and that’s why despite the cost-of-living crisis, I am committed to providing free and affordable entertainment for families during the festive season.”

Music fans need not wait long for their next dose of festive favourites - the much-loved Brass Monkeys festival returns on Saturday 10 December with sets from local and national bands, including Worker Bee Brass, Boarhurst Silver Band, Uppermill Brass Band and Flat Cap Brass. Performances will be held at High Street, Tommyfield Market and Oldham Parish Church between 1pm and 3pm and are both free to attend and sure to pay homage to the borough’s brass band heritage.

Few do the Christmas pantomime better than the award-winning Oldham Coliseum, which has been delighting crowds with this quintessentially British theatre treat since 1946. This year’s production of Robin Hood combines slapstick, silliness and hit songs and have you shouting, “oh yes, it is!” with gusto.

Admission starts at £13.50, with afternoon and evening shows Mondays-Saturdays between 12 November and 7 January 2023. Alternatively, more family-friendly fun can be had over at Oldham Library, where the full 90-minute production of The Night the Frost Fell costs just £8 and runs between 3 and 24 December

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