November, november, remember november? What a fine time for Wintonians. It may be getting chilly out there, but Winchester is certainly showing off its seasonal sensations. Here’s a taste of what’s on offer in our fine city this month:
Starting in style, on Saturday 7th November it’s the 57th Winchester Round table Bonfire and Fireworks Spectacular. The famous torchlight procession through the city starts to gather 6pm at King Alfred’s statue, culminating in the lighting of the bonfire at 7.15pm and the firework display at 7.45pm. Children 16 and under can enter the ‘build a Guy Fawkes’ competition for a chance to win tea with local MP Steve Brine at the Houses of Parliament (gunpowder, treason and plot not permitted). To enter, bring your Guy along to the Riverpark recreation ground on Saturday 7th. There’s also a photography competition this year, so tag #winchbonfire and post on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook for your chance to win a £100 Bangkok Brasserie or Japanese Kyoto Kitchen voucher or £50 for second prize. Celebrated local photographer Joe Low will be judging the winning snaps. Tickets are £3 in advance or £5 on the night with funds raised going to local charities. Last year, £40,000 was raised through the event, so it’s a worthwhile extravaganza as well as being a really good evening.
Sunday 8th November will see the annual Remembrance Service at the Cathedral War Memorial. You may have noticed a particularly smart gent in a bowler hat on the high street doing his bit for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and poppies are available throughout the city now, so donate generously.
The Winchester Short Film Festival takes place 7th – 14th November, screening original short films, including World Premieres and shorts. There will be an award ceremony on Saturday 14th November at the Winchester Discovery Centre, and also some industry masterclasses.
Get ready, because on 10th November the Winchester Christmas lights are being switched on. Yes, Christmas is coming! This year’s ‘switch on’ is an extra special affair coinciding with the Winchester stop off of the Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge. Pudsey will be greeting guests and there will be Children In Need fundraising activities. Matt Baker will be switching on the Christmas lights live on the One Show, BBC One. Entertainment will start from 4pm, with the switch on taking place between 7-7.30pm.
For some stirring singing, the Southampton Choral Society with Southern Pro Musica and guest conductor Brian Kay will perform of Elgar’s oratorio, The Dream of Gerontius at Winchester Cathedral on 14th November at 7.30pm.
On the 19th November, the Cathedral Christmas markets will open, a germanic fairytale transformation set against the majestic backdrop of Winchester Cathedral. Mulled wine and festive treats abound, not forgetting the opportunity to skate with friends and family in the ice rink. Opening times: 10am-6pm, Sunday-Wednesday, 10am-7.30pm Thursday-Saturday every day between 19th November and 22nd December.
The Winchester Musicals and Opera Society present Bizet’s Carmen at the Theatre Royal, 19th – 21st November. A passionate tale of lust, seduction and betrayal with some of the opera’s most famous melodies.
The Wine Festival returns to Winchester, 27 – 29 November, hosted by BBC1s Susie Barrie & Peter Richards, the husband and wife Masters of wine duo. The Winchester Guildhall will be packed full of wines to try, included as part of your entrance fee, with additional masterclasses available and the opportunity to stock up at discounted prices for christmas and beyond. Tickets start at £25.
Wrap up warm and enjoy the festivities one and all.