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Christmas lights switch-on at Dover at Market Square and St James'

Dover centre was packed with towsfolk for the switching on of the Christmas lights.

The illuminations were turned on by voice activation on Saturday when the huge crowd shouted out "Dover."

The splendidly lit Christmas tree after the switching on
The splendidly lit Christmas tree after the switching on

This happened at Market Square at exactly 5pm with town mayor Gordon Cowan leading the ceremony.

Four hours of entertainment took place just before including a crazy golf course and funfair rides such as a merry-go-round.

Residents saw live performers, including 16-year-old singer Hollie Firmin.

They also danced to favourite Christmas records such as Slade's Merry Xmas Everybody and Wizzard's I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday.

Santa arrived to greet the children in a Rotary Club of Dover.

Children with the Rotary Club of Dover Father Christmas float at Market Square
Children with the Rotary Club of Dover Father Christmas float at Market Square
Staff from Table Table at Marine Court. From left, Katie Siddle, Emma Pollock, Chris Parker
Staff from Table Table at Marine Court. From left, Katie Siddle, Emma Pollock, Chris Parker

Meanwhile staff from the Marine Court Table Table restaurant collected for Great Ormond Street children's hospital.

The event was organised by Dover Town Council.

Afterwards the mayor took the short stroll to St James' Retail and Leisure Park to take care of its switch-on.

This was the centre's first ever Christmas lights ceremony following its opening last year.

They were turned on at 5.30pm.

The Dover College Junior Choir at St James'
The Dover College Junior Choir at St James'
Cineworld workers Simone Jooling, left, and Jade Jordon at St James'
Cineworld workers Simone Jooling, left, and Jade Jordon at St James'

Visitors were entertained by the singing of carols from the Dover College Junior Choir.

Santa Claus was called in to appear at the M&S Food Hall to support the RNLI.

The event overall was used to support the homelessness charity Emmaus Dover.

The £53 million complex opened in March 2018, with Cineworld first trading and other major retailers arriving in the following months.

These included Costa, Next, Travelodge and Greggs.

More pictures from both lightings can be seen in this Wednesday's Dover Mercury.

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