A MAGICAL new Christmas event has been announced with festive attractions including rides, live shows, ice skating and Santa’s grotto. 

The Great Christmas Carnival at Newbury Racecourse will open on November 27 and run until January 2, promising to be the largest Christmas event of the south outside of London.

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A full programme has now been announced by the organisers and tickets are on sale, with the first 200 being free.

Attractions will include a gravity-defying flying Father Christmas, theme park rides, a vintage carousel, a fun house, and a giant rollercoaster.

Ticket holders can prepare to be wowed by the Great Christmas Circus, from the creators of Circus Extreme and Circus Berlin, with multiple performances each day featuring world-class performers.

A Christmas tree maze will keep all ages entertained while younger guests can enjoy Santa’s wonderous grotto and meet the man himself.

An ice rink will be set up with skates available to hire and aids to help younger skaters.

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There will also be a Christmas market featuring the Nordic Nook bar with a cosy fire pit and the Apres Alpine bar in the style of an alpine beer hall.

Everything from European produce and traditional festive refreshments will be on offer, including mulled wine, mince pies and raclette, as well as festive street food.

Organisers are offering the first 200 pre-booked tickets for free, which includes a complimentary hot chocolate as well as the Flying Father Christmas outdoor show which will take place every hour.

Tickets to other attractions are bookable in advance online or on the day via the box office.

Once the free tickets are all booked, entry will be £5 at non-peak times and £7.50 during peak hours.

Under threes can go for free.

Julian Thick, chief executive for Newbury Racecourse, said: “We are very excited about the launch of the Great Christmas Carnival. Having been working on this with our partners Underbelly for several years, we know it will be a great event that will appeal to a wide range of audience groups locally and further afield.

“As a diversified entertainment and leisure venue, it fits perfectly with our other activities and will be very complementary to our race days. I am sure the town and local area will see many benefits of hosting this event as it builds down the years.”

For more information visit greatchristmascarnivalnewbury.com.