Published: 00:01, 02 November 2018
| Updated: 06:07, 02 November 2018
The town’s Christmas lights will be switched on next month for the 55th time, after festive celebrations were cancelled in 2017.
And this year’s event is set to be the most inclusive yet, with a dedicated tent to ensure people with autism can enjoy the show.
Chairman of Sittingbourne Christmas Lights Association, Dave Pratt, said: “It was a shame last year did not happen for everyone and the public.
“Christmas lights have been going on in Sittingbourne for the last 55 years in one form or another. The reason it was cancelled was to make sure we could run everything safely.
“We did not want to put on something half-hearted and let people down.”
This year the association is going to be holding a market and switch on show with activities planned from 10am on Saturday, November 17.
And charity Swale Spectrum is working with organisers to make sure people with autism are catered for.
A tent will be set up so people who are overwhelmed by the experience can take time out from the festivities and relax for a while.
The project is being funded by Swale councillors Sarah Aldridge and Alan Horton.
Plans for what the tent will include, and where it will be placed in the High Street, are still to be confirmed.
Mr Pratt said: “The tent will be something different. It is important to be as inclusive as possible.
“We hope this is a small token, paving the way to potentially do other things like this.”
Although there will not be a parade, there will be a Christmas market with around 30 traders expected.There will also be a fairground and music at a stage in Central Avenue from 11am.
From 1pm entertainment will be put on with choirs, dance troupes and performances from the runners up and winner of Switch on Talent Show, held by Holiday Inn Coniston. This year’s champion was singer Sian Jeffries. The switch on is planned for between 5.15pm and 5.30pm.
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