Everything Okehampton - what we do
CHRISTMAS TREES AND LIGHTS
Okehampton’s Christmas lights display is envied throughout Devon and beyond, with visitors and locals alike experiencing the ‘wow factor’ as they approach the town centre from every direction!
This is no surprise considering there are over 100 real Christmas trees, each individually lit with strings of LED multicolour light bulbs, plus commercial LED cross-street and column-mount decorations throughout the town centre.
The Chamber of Trade originally started putting up the Christmas lights in 1968, in the Victorian Arcade in the centre of town. In more recent years Donald Rooke and his team of volunteers helped hang the decorations until Donald retired in 2016. We rely on the goodwill of volunteers to make the town look magnificent over the festive season and currently we have Steve Bolt, Louis Enderson and Mike Harding doing all the hard work, with a team of volunteers helping us to decorate the trees.
Funding is jointly provided by the donations from many of the town’s businesses, grants from Okehampton Town Council, Okehampton Hamlets Parish Council and Okehampton United Charities, plus kind donations from private residents and visitors and proceeds from the annual Christmas Lights Draw. All of whom are rightly very proud of the town’s festive decoration.
On the first Thursday in December, Okehampton comes alive with festive cheer as the ever popular annual late-night shopping event takes place in the town centre.
The event is organised by Everything Okehampton, and as well as local businesses opening late to greet both their loyal and new customers, Edwardian Evening features the Mayor’s Carol Service accompanied by the Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band, Reindeer in Red Lion Yard, Santa often pays the Museum of Dartmoor Life a visit to meet local and visiting children, a Hog Roast by Martins butchers, Roasted Chestnuts and a huge Barrel Organ playing festive tunes.
OKEHAMPTON FESTIVAL OF FOOD & MUSIC
The festival is now firmly on Okehampton’s calendar on the last Saturday of June.
Previous years festivals have brought a wide range of local food & drink producers and street food vendors to the town: Authentic Spanish cuisine from the Basque region, Pizzas freshly made and cooked in a wood-fired clay oven, local Gourmet burgers cooked fresh on a BBQ, Real Ale brewed on Dartmoor, Handmade chocolates made from Goat’s milk, Devon Cream Teas served by Okehampton’s Victorian Tea Room and so much more.
Music of many different genres have filled the air at venues across the town: Wren Music’s Roots A Capella singers, West Devon Folk Choir, Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band, Jazz duo “One Point Five” and Tinners Morris Dancers have all made appearances.