Kent Christmas lights switch-ons 2017
Feeling festive yet?
The switching on of Christmas lights is one of the first signs that Christmas really is on the horizon.
Get into the spirit by heading to one of these special Kent events:
Westwood Cross, Thanet
The annual celebration, which will be on Friday, November 17, will be hosted by kmfm.
Marcel and Gabby from Love Island, X Factor girl band Lemonade, retro girl-group Hotsy Totsy and pop-rock covers band Exit Strategy will all be making an appearance.
Francesca Donovan, centre manager, said: “Our annual Christmas lights switch on always attracts thousands of visitors from across Thanet and is a great opportunity to get a head-start on the Christmas shopping, with stores open until 7.30pm weekdays and free parking you can relax and soak up the atmosphere.”
The town’s Christmas programme will begin with the lights switch-on and community parade, which this year will take place on Friday, November 17.
Gravesend Borough Market is hosting its second festive season since reopening last year with a four-week extravaganza of Christmas Frost Fairs.
Panto star Linda Lusardi will open a special market that evening and the Frost Fairs will begin the following weekend, starting with an Ice and Vintage theme.
All Things Magical is the theme for the weekend after, followed by Hot and Fiery, before All Things Christmas rounds things off over the weekend of December 16 and 17.
The lights go on on Friday, November 17 with former Hollyoaks star Andy Moss and the Mayor pressing the button at 5pm at the junction of Meeting House Lane and Chatham High Street.
There will be family entertainment from 3.45pm including dance performances and competitions and prizes.
The lights in the Creative Quarter being switched on heralds the launch of the Folkestone Book Festival.
This year the switch-on will be on Friday, November 17 by Tracey Chevalier, author of the internationally best-selling Girl with a Pearl Earring.
More details at folkestonebookfest.com
Christmas kicks off in the town on Friday, November 17 when the ice rink in the amphitheatre at Calverley Gardens opens with a winter wonderland.
There will also be live music events there. For details go to tunbridgewellsatchristmas.com
The cast of Cinderella at The Orchard Theatre will help Dartford flick the switch on this year's Christmas lights on Saturday, December 18. There will also be performances from The Soundcasters and Five After Midnight before Louie Spence and the rest of the cast come on stage at 5pm for the grand finale.
Alongside an afternoon of music and stage performances will be family entertainment and giveaways around the town. For more visit darford.gov.uk/christmas
The fun starts at noon on Saturday, November 18 when there will be street entertainment and a fun run of Santas from 2pm.
There will be family entertainment from 3.45pm and actress Claire Sweeney, who is starring in panto at the Central Theatre this year, will be pushing the magic button with the Mayor around 5pm.
The switch-on event is on Sunday, November 19 this year from noon through to 5.30pm, with the switch being flicked around 5pm by members of the cast of this year’s Maidstone pantomime, Peter Pan.
There will be real reindeer, an ice rink for the children and Santa’s Grotto plus the high street will be crammed with street food, mulled wine and stalls.
A countdown is on for Maidstone’s Christmas lights switch-on. The button will be pressed at 6pm on Thursday, November 23, in Fremlin Walk.
The illumination will cap a fun-filled evening of entertainment with Santa and his reindeer from 4pm. They’ll be joined by kmfm’s breakfast show presenters Garry Wilson and Laura Nevitt who will host a star-studded show with music, dancing and an extraordinary appearance from the cast of Maidstone pantomime’s Peter Pan.
Entertainment is planned along the whole street and Santa will take his usual spot with his reindeer in the bandstand.The event is free and there will plenty of gifts and prizes available. Traditional Christmas stalls will add to the atmosphere selling tasty treats including bratwurst, pulled pork baguettes and Churros as well as Christmas gifts and stocking fillers.
The lights are turned on on Saturday, November 25 at 5pm when there will be a night food market and visit from Father Christmas from 5pm, with the market from 6pm.
The fun takes place on Friday, November 24 between 3.45pm and 5pm.
There will be entertainment from 3.30pm with performances including from singing sensation Jack Rose and X-Factor finalist, Joseph, formerly of the band Rough Copy.
The lights switch-on is around 5pm. For details of all Medway’s switch-ons head to medway.gov.uk
On Sunday, November 26 kmfm head to Commercial Road in Paddock Wood where street entertainment, Christmas market stalls, food and drink, an appearance by Santa and a small funfair will mark the arrival of Christmas.
Dover's Christmas lights will be switched on at around 5pm on Saturday, December 2 with guest choirs including the P&O Ferries Choir.
Father Christmas and his elves return to Bewl Water from Saturday, December 9. As well as meeting Father Christmas in his waterside grotto, youngsters will have the chance to embark on a treasure hunt aboard the Santa Express land train to help the resident elves find their missing Christmas items. The experience us open on December 9, 10, 16 and 17 and from December 21 to Christmas Eve. Tickets are £16 per child, including a gift from Father Christmas, and £8 per adult.