Here are the details of the Rochester Christmas lights switch on, Santa Fun Run and Dickensian Christmas including the City of Rochester Society Craft Fair.
The Christmas Light Switch On – Saturday 16th November
The entertainment in the High Street kicks off at 12.30pm with a parade from Rochester Bridge to Star Hill. From 1.30pm to 3pm, the main stage at Blue Boar Lane features entertainment from Mid-Kent College, Walderslade Girls School and Bishop of Rochester Academy among others. There are two smaller performance spaces outside the Crown and the old Post Office.
In addition, the Rochester Flea Market is running at the Gordon House Hotel from 11am-4pm.
From 3.45pm to 5pm, Heart FM DJ Neil Kefford will be playing out his Drivetime show from the Blue Boar Lane stage with performances from the Kings Preparatory School Choir, a majorette troup called the Distinction Twirlers and the Anderson School of Dance.
Then at 5pm, the Mayor will turn on the Christmas lights with someone called Arg from a TV show called The Only Way Is Essex. We assume there wasn’t a Medway/Kent based celebrity available.
The Santa Charity Fun Run – Saturday 23rd November
This years’ Rotary Club event begins at 2pm in the Castle moat although there are activities in the moat from 11am.
The Parade of Santa’s led by the Mayor will make its way along Rochester High Street to the bottom of Star Hill. Then the Santa Fun Run starts from outside the old Post Office and finishes in the Castle moat after following the route to the Esplanade and up Castle Hill. All entrants will receive a medal at the end.
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Dickensian Christmas Weekend – 7th/8th December
Including our very own City of Rochester Society Craft Fair in the Castle moat from 10am-5pm, there’s guaranteed snow in the High Street and a parade of Dickensian and Victorian characters.The Farmers Market also runs from 10am to 5pm in the King’s Head car park.
On each day, the Seven Poor Travellers Procession starts outside the Guildhall Museum at 11am. The Main Parade led by the Mayor starts at 12 noon at the Star Hill end of the High Street moving along the High Street on to the Esplanade, up Castle Hill and finishing at the Boley Hill Stage. At 4.45pm, the Candelit Parade makes it way from Star Hill along the High Street and up to the Boley Hill Stage from Northgate. And then at 5pm, the BAE Brass Band lead the carols from the Boley Hill Stage.
Rochester Christmas Market
This years’ Traditional Christmas Market starts in the Castle Gardens on 30th November to 1st December, then 6th to 8th December over the Dickensian Christmas weekend and then again from 13th to 15th December. It runs from 11am-8pm every day except 7th and 8th December when it opens at 10am. Entry is free and there will be plenty of Festive Fayre, Christmas gifts and a Father Christmas Grotto.
City of Rochester Society Craft Fair
As mentioned previously, our Christmas Craft Fair returns to the Castle moat. We start at 10am on Friday 6th December and run over the Dickensian Christmas weekend. We then return on 13th December and run to 15th December. The Craft Fair is open until 5.15pm each day.
Free Festive Parking
There’s free parking in all council-run car parks from 30th November to Monday 2nd December and on Saturday 21st December.