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Royal Victoria Place shopping centre in Tunbridge Wells welcomed Santa, Rudolph and his elves to launch Christmas

Tunbridge Wells was lit up ready for Christmas last night at a special event in west Kent's biggest shopping centre.

Santa, kmfm's Breakfast presenters Garry and Emma and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leo and Ralph arrived in style to switch on the Christmas lights at Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells.

In a festive night of fun, Santa opened his new magical grotto and welcomed all the excited faces who arrived to greet him.

Garry and Emma switched on the grotto's lights before heading upstairs to switch on the centre's spectacular Christmas tree lights.

Crowds gathered at the shopping centre from 4pm excited and ready for Santa's arrival which will mark his 13th consecutive visit.

Marketing manager of Royal Victoria Place, Marc Burchett said: This evening is one of the highlights of the Christmas season here in Tunbridge Wells and at Royal Victoria Place. It is a spectacular night of family fun.

"It's always a memorable and magical occasion for the little ones and Santa and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles won't disappear.”

kmfm's road crew handed out glowsticks and flags to the crowds of shoppers watching the event.

CBeebies presenter Gemma Hunt - who is also starring in the town's production of Peter Pan this winter - also attended, giving a sprinkle of fairy dust to the evening.

Garry and Emma recruited some very special little helpers in the run up to the evening, and selected 11-year-old Connor Bourne as the honoured guest who would press the button to switch on the festive lights.

Guests enjoyed late night shopping until 8pm with free car parking from 4pm.

For more info visit:www.royalvictoriaplace.com

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