Christmas Festival this weekend will be bigger than ever

Christmas Festival this weekend will be bigger than ever
The Master of Ceremonies will once again be Dave 'Mac’ McDonald

Running from 6pm on Friday [November 22] through to 8pm on Sunday, the free event will feature a variety of bands and two pantomime troupes.

The actors will be walking among the crowds before helping Mayor Jill Anderson turn on the Christmas lights before the fireworks begin at 6.55pm.

The festival is organised and sponsored by the town’s Rotary Club for a seventh consecutive year with support from Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council.

The Master of Ceremonies will once again be Dave ‘Mac’ McDonald, local comedian and screenwriter, whose latest drama is being filmed in Birmingham and will appear as a six-part series on British television next year.

Mr McDonald said: “It’s been a fabulous year and I have been extremely fortunate to have been invited back to Hollywood [Screen Writers Awards] and Cannes, whilst having a TV drama screenplay bought is a genuine honour.”

The festival begins with a funfair in Sovereign Way mid car park on Friday evening and running all through the weekend.

The High Street will be closed on Sunday from 10.30am-8.30pm with more than 60 stalls lining the pavements and River Walk, offering Christmas merchandise, jewellery, toys, food, drinks, tombolas and lucky dips.

Former Tonbridge Rotary President Brian Piner said: “Last year was successful in so many ways with an estimated 9,000 to 10,000 people attending, and hopefully this year we can equal or even exceed these numbers. 

“This event is by word of mouth getting around Kent and we are pleased to invite stall holders from all over the county.”

The musical performances beginning at 1.50pm with the TS Brilliant Reunion Band marching up the road accompanied by the Hartley Morris Men.

The on-stage entertainment starts at 2.25pm with the Razzamataz Theatre School, followed by the Tonbridge Community Singers, Lubbock and The Lanterns and a new local act, The Patinas Band, with Kentish rockers Roxxon closing the show.

Rotary Club President Phil Higgins said: “We very much look forward to all Tonbridge residents, their families and children coming along and entering into the celebration of Christmas.

“I am delighted that after such hard work we can look forward to an excellent Christmas Festival which will be bigger and better than last year.

“I am extremely grateful to our sponsors this year as without them the event would not happen.

“Our thanks also go to all the performers who provide their services free of charge allowing all monies, through our bucket collections, to be distributed through our local charities.”

The following have sponsored the Christmas Festival: Hadlow Manor Hotel, Snap Fitness, Nizel’s Golf Club, Abbey Funeral Services, Portman Rare Books, Porsche Centre, Havet restaurant, HoMedics, The Rose & Crown Hotel, Shaw’s Leisure and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council.

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