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When and where to see Christmas lights switched on across Kent in 2021


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Festive lights have started to twinkle, and festivities are underway in the run-up to Christmas.

Here's our guide to when the lights will be switched on across the county.

Christmas lights have been switched on in Canterbury city centre. Picture: Canterbury BID/Matt Wilson
Christmas lights have been switched on in Canterbury city centre. Picture: Canterbury BID/Matt Wilson

Gillingham lights switch-on

This will be taking place on Friday, November 26, with family entertainment from 3.45pm with kmfm and performances from local groups. The switch-on is planned for 5pm with the Deputy Mayor pushing the magic button.

Children's favourites Bing and Flop will be at the Gillingham Community Hub at 2pm. To meet them, you need to book in advance by calling 01634 337799. To find out about the festive event or any others in Medway click here.

Sevenoaks switch-on

The lights will be switched on on Friday, November 26. Road closures start from 4.30pm, with the High Street closing at 5.30 so that a whole host of attractions can take place, including a children’s funfair, a stage for performances, Christmas market stalls, and Santa. Shops will also be competing for the Best Dressed Window contest. The events have been organised by the town council.

Rochester lights switch-on

The switch-on will take place on Saturday, November 27, with family entertainment from 3.45pm with kmfm and local groups giving displays. The lights are due to be switched on at 5pm with the Mayor and a 'mystery guest' pushing the button.

A past Tonbridge Christmas lights switch on Picture: Tonbridge and Malling council
A past Tonbridge Christmas lights switch on Picture: Tonbridge and Malling council

Tonbridge Rotary Christmas Festival

There will be a festival atmosphere and fireworks on Sunday, November 28, in Tonbridge High Street, with entertainment, stalls and the switch-on. You can find out more here.

Rainham lights switch-on

On Friday, December 3, there will be entertainment starting at 3.45pm from kmfm with local performances.

Peter Rabbit will be at the library at 2pm - to book to see him call 01634 337799. The switch-on itself is planned for 5pm with the Mayor doing the honours.

Whitstable lights switch-on

Whitstable's festivities will kick off with a Christmas event on Saturday, December 4.

Community group WhitSparkle organises the town's annual festive event, which will this year feature a lantern-lit parade featuring local youngsters and the lanterns they've made, which will take place at 4.30pm. The lights will also be illuminated on WhitSparkle's harbour Christmas tree.

Crowds will be entertained with live performances in the harbour from 2pm, where mulled wine will also be available.

Sandwich switch-on

This will take place on Saturday, December 4, when there will be a Christmas parade, stalls, music and an indoor market with Santa’s Grotto. Find out more here.

Sheerness lights

There is due to be a light parade on Sunday, December 5 from 4.30pm in Queenborough, organised by the town council. Find out more here.

Canterbury's Christmas lights switch-on event. Picture: Canterbury BID/Matt Wilson
Canterbury's Christmas lights switch-on event. Picture: Canterbury BID/Matt Wilson

Canterbury's Christmas lights have already been switched on. Find out more here. Find out more about Folkestone's here.

Maidstone's lights were switched on in Jubilee Square last week.

Last weekend, lights were also switched on in Dartford, by Joseph actor Lee Mead; Strood, with kmfm and the Gruffalo; Chatham with kmfm and The Snowman™ and The Snowdog; Herne Bay and Deal; Gravesham, with a lantern parade led by the Mayor, and in Sittingbourne.

And on Monday the Westwood Wonderland Christmas lights switch-on took place in Broadstairs.Find out more here.

Christmas markets and fairs across Kent this year

For more Days Out ideas across Kent click here

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