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When is Dickensian Christmas Festival in Rochester and Christmas market?


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Characters from Charles Dickens' novels, street entertainment and carol singing will come to town this weekend.

The Dickensian Christmas Festival, organised by Medway Council, is back this weekend, bringing traditional festivities to the streets of Rochester, inspired by Dickens' tales.

A Dickensian Christmas in Rochester Picture: Medway Council
A Dickensian Christmas in Rochester Picture: Medway Council

The fun begins on Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5, when the streets of Rochester are filled with Charles Dickens costumed characters and the sound of Christmas carols.

Visitors are invited to dress in their Victorian or Dickensian finest for the parades at noon and 4.45pm in the High Street.

At 5pm on both days, the Rochester Choral Society Choir and the BAE Systems Brass Band will be hosting carols outside the cathedral in Boley Hill, under a guaranteed snow fall.

The weekend also sees the Rochester Christmas Market open again in the castle gardens from Friday, December 3 to Sunday, December 5.

Visitors to the events are encouraged to use public transport as parking will be limited. There will be park and ride facilities this weekend. Find out more here.

The final lights switch-on for the area also takes place on Friday, December 3 in Rainham, with entertainment starting at 3.45pm from kmfm and local performances, leading to the switch-on at 5pm.

A Dickensian Christmas sees costumed characters in the streets of Rochester Picture: Medway Council
A Dickensian Christmas sees costumed characters in the streets of Rochester Picture: Medway Council

Dee O’Rourke from Medway Council said: “We know the Rochester Christmas Market and the Dickensian Christmas Festival were greatly missed last year and I am delighted that we will be able to celebrate once again. All of Medway’s festive events, including the Brook Christmas Show, and pantomime at The Central Theatre, support our aspiration to become a Child-Friendly City, putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do.”

Also in Medway this weekend is a new children's show, Little Fox’s Christmas Garden, which opens at the Brook Theatre on Friday, December 3.

Little Fox's Christmas Garden is at the Brook theatre, Chatham Picture: Elkin Consulting
Little Fox's Christmas Garden is at the Brook theatre, Chatham Picture: Elkin Consulting

The interactive show filled with games, songs and dances designed to fuel young imaginations is set on Christmas Eve, in the cosy old bookshop where Little Fox is helping Big Fox put up decorations. Suddenly, they receive an urgent message that an evil queen has cast a terrible spell, and Christmas may be gone forever. They must lift the spell, free the garden and save Christmas.

The show runs until Christmas Eve. Tickets cost from £8 for adults and £7.50 for children. Book here or call 01634 338338.

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