Tuesday, 21 September 2021

The Living Advent Calendar is back

THIS year’s Henley Living Advent Calendar will be the best yet, says the organiser.

THIS year’s Henley Living Advent Calendar will be the best yet, says the organiser.

Julie Perigo has brought in a new programme of acts, including jive dancers, accordion players and stand-up comedians.

She said: “It’s going to be even bigger and more fun this year. There will be a real variety of acts. It’s certainly not carols every night, although there’s always some Christmassy aspect.

“The majority of the acts will be completely new faces but we’ve brought back the amazing Henley firefighters by popular demand.”

The calendar, now its third year, involves performances at various venues each night between December 1 and 24 from 6.15pm to 6.30pm and raises money for charity.

Mrs Perigo said: “There are great venues including Leander Club, the Angel on the Bridge, Shaun Dickens’ restaurant and the wonderful ‘secret garden’ at Simmons & Sons again.

“You’ll be sure of a warm welcome every evening, whatever the weather. The feel good factor is immense.

“Everyone who comes says half the fun is waiting to see what surprise you get on the night about who is performing. It’s great fun, whatever age you are. All the acts are suitable for families — and you get free nibbles too.”

One of the performances will be the screening of a film that wins a Henley Standard competition.

Ms Perigo said: “We’re the first town in the UK to put on a Living Advent Calendar and, although Wokingham, Twyford and Windsor say they are going to copy our idea, we say come along and show them all that Henley does it best!”

Raffle tickets and beanie hats will be on sale every night and the money raised will go to the Henley Youth Centre, Fourbirdsaboating, the Poppy Appeal and Henley Regatta for the Disabled. A new brochure, Henley on Christmas, will have all the details of each night of the calendar and other events around the town.

It is being produced jointly by the Living Advent Calendar and Henley Town Council with sponsorship from the Higgs Group, publisher of the Henley Standard, and will be distributed through the paper.

The calendar initiative won the business and economy and partnership and strategic working category for the South in this year’s Towns Alive Awards. It was also in the top three of the most attractive town initiative category of the Association of Town and City Management’s awards.

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