Dickensian Christmas Festival in Rochester this weekend

Characters from the pages of Charles Dickens' stories will come to life and parade through the snow-laden streets this weekend.

Rochester will become a Victorian festive scene as the annual Dickensian Christmas Festival takes to the streets on Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8.

Families can come dressed up to the two-day event
Families can come dressed up to the two-day event

The scene will hopefully be more A Christmas Carol than Hard Times when there will be a feast of Victorian treats with a parade of costumed characters and live entertainment combined with the festive market in Rochester Castle Gardens - plus some guaranteed snowfall.

The main Dickensian Christmas parade takes place at noon each day moving from Almon Place to Boley Hill Stage. But there is an action-packed programme of displays, parades and entertainment either side of this.

From choir performances to bell ringing demonstrations, brass bands to pipe bands - there is plenty to keep visitors entertained on both days between 10am until 5.30pm.

And lots for the children too including street performers, Punch and Judy shows, Christmas crafts and interactive Dickensian workshops.

There will also be a candelit evening procession through the Rochester streets at 4.45pm.

Dickensian Christmas Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8
Dickensian Christmas Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8

Rochester's Christmas Market, which opened for the first time last Saturday, will be open right across the weekend from Friday, December 6 until Sunday, December 8.

The popular market in the grounds of the castle will feature stalls packed with unique gifts and stocking fillers with festive music playing and on Friday evening the funfair is offering £1 rides and activities half price.

Visitors coming to the Dickensian Christmas can use a park and ride service at the University of Kent's Medway Campus where return bus journeys for adults are £1 each and children under 16 go for free. The park and ride will be running from 9am with the last bus leaving Rochester at 6pm.
For more details on this and the Dickensian Christmas weekend please click here.

For more suggestions of things to do with the kids this weekend in Kent see our pick of the festive family fun here.

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