The festive season begins in Oxfords central Broad Street on 24 Nov with the switching-on of Christmas lights at 17.30 followed by a continental market and carol singing. Then on 25 Nov from 15.00 the biggest ever Oxford Christmas parade traverses the city from the Cornmarket and George Street to New Road and the Oxford Castle. Over 200 musicians, Irish dancers, Marston twirlers and majorettes will take part in the event which will also see the switching-on of Christmas lights in the city centre. Led by the lord mayor of Oxford and the mayor of Bonn, the parade culminates with the lighting up of the Christmas tree at Oxford castle, where festive music and market stalls from Oxfords twin towns of Bonn (Germany), Perm (Russia), Leon (Nicaragua), Leiden (Netherlands) and Grenoble (France) will also be on offer. On 11 Dec a Christmas grotto will open at the castle with proceeds from admissions going to charity. The Christmas festival has been organised with the help of Oxford city council, Visit Oxford, OX1, Oxford Mail, Oxford castle, Oxford Preservation Trust, FOX FM and the Westgate Shopping Centre.
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