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Published: 19:29, 21 November 2019
| Updated: 12:36, 22 November 2019
The festive season has officially begun!
Maidstone town centre shone with Christmas lights this evening after crowds gathered to see the big switch-on event.
Families and friends huddled in the cold in Jubilee Square from around 4.30pm in a bid get close to the stage.
People were able to enjoy musical performances from the likes of X-factor star Jake Quickenden and Molehill Primary Academy before seeing the much anticipated button press.
The Military Wives Choir also made an appearance along with the Powerhouse Gospel Choir who proved to be a huge hit with their performance of Holy Night.
Jake, who is starring in this year's Hazlitt Theatre panto Beauty and the Beast, was joined on stage by other members of the cast to switch on the Christmas lights.
Nine-year-old Neave and a six-year-old Nya were the guests of honour after winning a Christmas cracker joke competition and when the time came they pressed the glittery button and sent the crowds wild.
Gary and Laura from kmfm kept spirits high in between the acts and even played their breakfast show game, Say It, live on stage.
Tanya, from Tonbridge, was the lucky winner of an overnight stay at the Village Hotel after guessing 10 correct answers.
Mayor of Maidstone Cllr Marion Ring also made an appearance.
Speaking about the pantomime she said: "Thank you so much for coming, it is a wonderful show with a great cast and I am really looking forward to it."
Children were excited to see Father Christmas had flown in on his sleigh for the occasion.
He told the crowd to continuing being nice to one another and not to litter in order to stay on the nice list this Christmas.
Nandos staff were also at large in Jubilee Square with a giant chicken to entertain guests
The night concluded with a big sing-a-long to Mariah Carey and Jake even sang some of the high notes.
Back stage he stopped to take pictures with many of his fans before heading towards the Hazlitt Theatre.
Last year residents were disappointed with the lack of Christmas lights in the town but One Maidstone and Kmfm have made this an event to remember.
Stall holders were dotted throughout the town, for children to purchase their favourite light up toys and throughout the day children could even visit an Elfie Station in Fremlin Walk.
There they could dress up as their best elf before having some photo taken.
Alongside them were giant stilt walking nutcrackers and festive flower girls.
More by this authorJess Sharp
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