RESIDENTS in a West Oxfordshire town are revelling in a feel-good atmosphere this week.

The people of Carterton are showcasing everything they have to offer with the first ever Carterton Celebrates, a 10-day series of events run by clubs, groups and societies in the town.

By the time a songs of praise service closes proceedings on Sunday, more than 50 events will have taken place since Friday’s opening night.

Carterton Celebrates has largely been organised by Sue James who, alongside her daughter Kayleigh, felt the town needed a festival.

She said: “We got a leaflet through our door for the Burford festival and we thought 'if they can do it, why can’t we?'

“Carterton gets a lot of negative press and we’re not seen as a cute Cotswold village, but it’s an amazing place and has always had fabulous things that we need to get out there.

“Sometimes it’s just a case of sharing that information.”

As a lifelong resident who also teaches at the town’s community college, Mrs James was well-placed to lead the charge.

The 52-year-old has firsthand experience of many of the town’s clubs and societies and revealed her contacts were the key for getting the event off the ground.

She said: “Our plan was to contact as many groups and societies as possible and the idea was that people could choose what they would go to.”

“We wanted to get people walking around Carterton and make it a real town event.

“The groups we spoke to got really on board and wanted to get involved.”

A range of talks, exhibitions and activities are being run by different groups within the town throughout the ten days.

The festival kicked off with an open air cinema performance of Grease at the recreation ground, before residents showed their gardening prowess with the town’s open gardens.

Other highlights so far have included a town treasure trail, bandstand concert and a history of Carterton exhibition at the town hall.

Among the events still to come are a wine tasting evening run by the U3A society, Harry Potter-themed ‘quiz for muggles’ and a charity car boot sale.

Carterton Celebrates has also been an opportunity for societies to advertise themselves to potential new members, with groups such as Jazzercise Carterton and the bowls club holding free taster sessions for newcomers.

Meanwhile, the town’s independent businesses have looked to tap into the celebratory mood by running special deals throughout the festival.

Carterton Town Council has paid much of the festival and most of the events are free.

A programme of the remaining events at Carterton Celebrates is available online at