Oldham Council announce plans for Christmas events including brass bands and a parade

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It’s set to be a fun-filled Christmas in Oldham

It may still be October, but Oldham Council have their sights set firmly on Christmas. A fun-filled schedule of festive events has been announced for November and December. 

Kicking off on Saturday November 18, events are planned on this day and a weekend in December. The full details, courtesy of Oldham Council, are below. 

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Oldham Christmas Parade – Saturday November 18, 12pm, Oldham town centre

The countdown to Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the annual Oldham Christmas Parade, and the council has announced that it's returning for an afternoon of festive cheer and community spirit.

Join Santa and his merry bunch of mates as they make their way through the town centre and High Street. The parade will include more than 200 talented local performers and community group members who always put on a show for those watching – so expect music, dancing and cheer all round. No live animals will be involved in the parade this year, but we'll have community groups and performers from across the borough as usual.

Don’t miss the brilliant festive performances from Dobcross Silver Band, fusion music performers Global Grooves Bloco, and the Oldham Scottish Pipe Band.

The parade kicks off at 12 noon at Old Town Hall and will make its way through the heart of the town centre. 

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Festive Entertainment  – Saturday November 18, 12.30pm – 5.30pm

The celebrations continue well into the afternoon with a heap of festive entertainment. There will be meet and greet opportunities with Santa and his elf, an operatic Christmas tree and Musical Ruth and their jingle jangle piano all baubled and tinseled up. From jolly Christmas tunes to cheeky and delightful performers, there's something for everyone to enjoy and get involved with.

Christmas Lights Switch On Show ‘The Wrong Reindeer’ and Firework Finale – Saturday November 18, 5.30pm

To finish the packed day of free entertainment, the annual Light Switch On Show returns at the historic Old Town Hall. There will be a special outdoor show, The Wrong Reindeer, a bespoke show created by Oldham Theatre Workshop, especially for the event.

Brass bands will be a feature of Oldham's Christmas (Photo: Oldham Council) Brass bands will be a feature of Oldham's Christmas (Photo: Oldham Council)
Brass bands will be a feature of Oldham's Christmas (Photo: Oldham Council)

The tale tells the story of a donkey who dreams of being a reindeer and a child who's lost the magic of wishing. As winter sets in, an adventure begins that will remind everyone of the true meaning of Christmas.

The show will be followed by the switch on of the Christmas lights – and the tree! – and a festive firework show that will light up Oldham’s skyline.

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Brass Monkeys Festival – Saturday 9 December, 11am–3pm, Oldham town centre

Head into the town centre and listen to music throughout the day, as local and national brass bands come together to provide the perfect soundtrack for your Christmas shopping. Check out music from bands including Grimethorpe Colliery Band stars of ‘Brassed Off’, Fat Cat Brass, Oldham Music Service and many more. 

Cllr Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “It’s that festive time of year again and it brings me so much joy to announce our events Christmas events programme for 2023.

“These events capture the spirit of the season as well as providing fun and free activities for families, as we know cash can be tight for some. I'm so proud that we as a Council can work with performers from across the country, local community groups and arts organisations alike to put on a truly special events programme for people of all ages to enjoy."

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