A WEEKLONG celebration showcasing local businesses, car boot sales, markets and cocktails took place in Carterton for the third year running despite coronavirus.

Carterton Celebrates is organised by Sue James and her daughter Kayleigh, and this year they refused to let coronavirus hold them back from celebrating their town.

Mrs James said: “We were really keen to go ahead with the whole week, because we had booked quite a few events, we had a fete and authors – all sorts of things and of course with lockdown everything went out the window.”

She added: “I know some people felt there wasn’t really anything to celebrate, but we felt quite strongly that actually there is and we wanted to celebrate Carterton’s resilience and the fact that people and businesses have come through it and things are hopefully easing.”

The festivities took place between July 18 and 26 and on Saturday July 18, local businesses took part in a market giving many shop owners the chance to relaunch their business after lockdown.

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The next day, driveway sales took over the town to support numerous charities including Save the Children, Thames Valley Air Ambulance and the British Heart Foundation.

Oxford Mail:

Carterton celebrates also included a car boot sale and loads of discounts across the town in local businesses which were displayed in windows and online.

Mrs James said: “A lot of the businesses in town have decorated their windows for us and are doing special offers for the week. I know ‘G & Ts’ have got a special cocktail which I am going to check out later. Several of them also have online offers. It was nice, and we were keen to support the local businesses as they begin to open up.”

Although many of the events were able to take place outdoors, some of the festival’s events were taken online. The week has seen online zumba and painting classes as well as a photography competition and a treasure trail around the town and a trail around the country park.

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Mrs James said: “The original idea for Carterton celebrates was to showcase all those things that go on in Carterton and try and bring them all together, because we realised, we didn’t know all the things that go on.

“Normally we would have had zumba classes and pilates offering trials and discounts, but unable to do that as classes are not up and running again a lot of them are doing online classes this week.”

Oxford Mail:

The community also came together for a socially distanced litter pick on a mission to clean up the town.

Mrs James added: “The litter pick was brilliant – a lot of families turned out and one family found a ten-pound note, so they were thrilled.

"The kids had come along a bit reluctantly with parents but of course that made it worthwhile. It was brilliant there was about 40 bags of rubbish by the end of the morning which was lovely.”

The mobile police station was also in the town for residents to visit and have a chat about their concerns.