Living Advent Calendar Countdown is On…

The countdown is on to the opening of the first Living Advent Calendar door… it’s only 42 days until the surprise act will be revealed coming out of the Town Hall to perform on Market Place.  The organisers have today unveiled all the 24 venues for this year.

The Living Advent Calendar first staged in 2011, with a format that has received nationwide attention and has been replicated in towns and cities throughout the UK. The  Henley event received a David Cameron “Big Society Award” in 2013.  Last year the event returned, after a 3 year absence due to the pandemic, and promptly raised more than ever for local good causes, such was the enthusiasm and support for the event.

“Amidst some tough times for many people, it’s nice to be able to stage something that so many look forward to, and which is something so unashamedly joyous this December” said event organiser Richard Rodway from THP Solicitors, who first took on responsibility for the event in 2014, “it also provides such a good platform and opportunity for local good causes, who also need our support more than ever.”

The event was the idea of the Henley Business Partnership in 2011, to boost tourism and retail in the town (traditionally synonymous with its summers events)  in the winter, and the Dickensian feel and charm of the town provides an idyllic backdrop to the event, much of which involves outdoor performances.

Each night the audience gathers at that night’s venue for 6.15pm for a surprise 30 minute performance, quite often through the “advent” door or window for that evening.  The event brings together large cross-sections of the local community, visiting iconic, picture postcard venues such as St Marys Church, Angel on the Bridge pub and Leander Club, as well as hidden gems that may be less well known, including the English Heritage supported “Henley Masonic Centre.”

The audience is invited to buy raffle tickets in aid of the night’s local charity for some great raffle prizes.

Over a tasty mince pie and mulled wine or the like, “something for everyone” is promised, and “everyone should enjoy each of the varied performances” which, in 2022, included an acoustic set from Haircut 100s’ Nick Heywood performing on the opening night, choirs or various types, ukulele bands, bands, a Robbie Williams tribute act, audience participation ballroom dancing, panto and more.

The event is being sponsored by THP Solicitors, Blue Peak Accounting, Phil Booth Esq, Crest Nicholson and the Henley Business Partnership.

For more information visit www.livingadventcalendar.co.uk and also this year for the first time you can download the Living Advent trail app at https://experiencehenley.co.uk/living-advent-calendar/

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