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Here's what's happening across the Folkestone district over the Christmas period

The festive fun kicks off in Folkestone with the town centre Christmas light switch on tonight.

The evening events will start at 5pm at the Leas Cliff Hall with pre-parade festivities, before the parade departs for the Town Hall at 5.30pm.

The town centre will be lit up tonight. Pictured: The 2017 switch on
The town centre will be lit up tonight. Pictured: The 2017 switch on

A stage will be set up outside the hall, in Guildhall Street, where primary school children will sing songs.

Other choirs, bands and dance groups will also perform.

Stars of the Leas Cliff Hall's pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will then entertain the crowd, with the big light switch on taking place at 7.30pm.

A firework display will then be held from the Harbour Arm just after 8pm.

Tonight's turn on follows last week's light switch on in the Creative Quarter - which saw Booker prize-winning author Ben Okri star as the guest of honour.

Stars of Folkestone's panto, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, will perform at the light turn on tonight
Stars of Folkestone's panto, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, will perform at the light turn on tonight

Folkestone's first ever Christmas Market will open in Sandgate Road next week.

Opening on Friday, around 50 stalls are expected to line the town centre selling an array of festive gifts, food and drink.

A free mini golf course will also be in place for visitors, and Santa will make special appearances, including on Saturday between 12pm-3pm.

The market, organised by Rockhopper Events and similar to the one set up in Canterbury, will run until December 22, and will be open 10am-6pm Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on Saturdays and 10am-5pm on Sundays.

Other planned festive events include the Living Advent Calendar, which sees a different door open every night between December 1 to December 24 to unveil a live performance.

The fireworks will take place on the Harbour Arm from 8pm. Picture: Alan Langley
The fireworks will take place on the Harbour Arm from 8pm. Picture: Alan Langley

The first door will 'open' at the Harbour Station at 6pm.

The Harbour Arm will also host other yuletide-themed events throughout December.

Stocking fillers and sweet treats will be on offer at the Mini Boutique Market, which will be open Saturdays and Sundays between 11am and 5pm from Saturday, December 7.

There will also be a Christmas Tree Market every weekend from December 1, between 12pm and 5pm.

Musical performances will come from Folkestone Rock Choir on Saturday, December 7 at 6pm, and there will be a traditional carol service on Saturday, December 21 from 5pm.

The Santa Run for the Pilgrims Hospice will also launch from the Harbour Arm on Sunday, December 8, at 9.30am.

The Folkestone Christmas market will launch next week. It will be run by the same group who put on the Canterbury market, pictured
The Folkestone Christmas market will launch next week. It will be run by the same group who put on the Canterbury market, pictured

Hythe High Street will host a late night shopping event on Friday, December 6 and the Light Up New Romney Community Lantern Parade will be held on Friday, December 13.

Elham's Christmas food and craft festival will then take place on Sunday, December 15.

And to aid shoppers, Folkestone and Hythe District Council have announced that charges in all their pay and display car parks and on-street parking bays across the district will be waived on the three Saturdays leading up to the big day.

This means parking will be free on December 7, 14 and 21.

The initiative is designed to get more people to shop in the the town centres.

To check on the locations of the Living Advent Calender, click here.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will run from Friday, December 13 to Tuesday, December 31 and will star Thomas Regrave, who previously won Britain’s Got Talent with musical theatre group Collabro, as Prince Benedict, Andre Vincent as Dame Dolly Dolittle, Phil Redid as Muddles, Dave Lynn as the Wicked Queen and Naomi Slater as Snow White.

To book tickets, visit here or call the box office on 0844 871 3015.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone


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