Published: Monday, 15th November 2021

Thousands of residents, and visitors, are expected to get into the festive spirit at Medway’s fantastic Christmas events this winter.

The festive season will begin with Christmas lights switching on across Medway between Friday, 19 November and Friday, 3 December. The Mayor of Medway, Cllr Jan Aldous, will be turning on the Christmas lights at four events, and Cllr Kirstine Carr will turn on the lights at Gillingham. Family friendly activities, including visits from children’s characters such as the Gruffalo, the Snowman, Peter Rabbit and Bing and Flop will begin at 3.45pm. There will also be entertainment from kmfm and performances from local entertainers.

The Rochester Christmas Market will return to the picturesque Rochester Castle Gardens from Saturday, 27 November, where visitors will find unusual stocking fillers, unique gifts and mulled wine. There will be fun for all the family including live performances, a funfair and a Bavarian food village.

Residents will be treated to a range of Victorian delights at the Dickensian Christmas Festival in Rochester on Saturday and Sunday, 4 and 5 December. There will be costumed characters from Charles Dickens’ famous works, street entertainment and open-air carol concerts. Residents are also invited to dress up in their finest Victorian or Dickensian outfits at the parades, which will take place from 12pm and 4.45pm along Rochester High Street. If you need help finding an outfit, a Dickens costume sale is taking place at Rochester Corn Exchange on Saturday, 20 November between 10am and 3pm.

We are also encouraging residents to shop local this Christmas to support local businesses with the help of free parking in all council-owned car parks from Thursday, 16 to Sunday, 19 December 2021 (inclusive).

Dee O’Rourke, Assistant Director of Culture and Community at Medway Council, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming thousands of residents and visitors to celebrate Christmas in Medway once again this year. Starting with the Christmas light switch-ons, there is a range of exciting activities for the whole family to enjoy. 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.”

Celebrate Christmas at Medway’s theatres

Medway’s theatres are also looking forward to helping people of all ages get into the festive spirit.

Little Fox’s Christmas Garden at The Brook Theatre is an interactive show filled with games, songs and dances designed to fuel the imaginations of young children. It’s Christmas Eve, and in the cosy old bookshop Little Fox is helping Big Fox put up lots of decorations. Suddenly, they receive an urgent message. An evil queen has cast a terrible spell, and Christmas may be gone forever. So begins a journey into an enchanted garden and an amazing fantastical land, with faraway fairies, mumbling moles and, of course, the Evil Queen herself. Help Little Fox lift the spell, free the garden and save Christmas forever from Friday, 3 December until Christmas Eve. Tickets start from £8 for adults and £7.50 for children. For more information, and to book, visit or call the Box Office on 01634 338338.

This year’s spectacular pantomime at The Central Theatre is Beauty and the Beast, brought to you by Jordan Productions, who promise audiences everything they expect including live music, glittering sets and rip-roaring adventure in a panto full of oo la la-ughs which will be ‘simply the beast’. CBeebies star Jennie Dale, from Swashbuckle, will play the role of Fairy Formidable, guiding audiences with her special magic through the panto story. EastEnders legend Todd Carty will play Beauty’s father and Matt Lapinskasfrom Dancing on Ice and EastEnders, will play the Prince/Beast. The hilarious Michael Neilson will return to The Central Theatre pantomime as Dame Dotty. West End star Hannah Boyce will play Beauty. Beauty and the Beast will be performed at The Central Theatre, Chatham, from Thursday, 9 December until Friday, 31 December. Tickets for the preview night cost £13 and tickets for the other performances start at £16. To book, visit or call the Box Office on 01634 338338.

Find out more on our website, or search Christmas in Medway on Facebook.

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