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Gravesham lights up for Christmas

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 November 2019

The crowds were entertained by the rhythms of 4x4 Kings of Dhol as they made their way thorugh the town centre. Picture: Gravesham Council

The crowds were entertained by the rhythms of 4x4 Kings of Dhol as they made their way thorugh the town centre. Picture: Gravesham Council

Archant

Gravesham has lit up for Christmas.

Large crowds gathered for the big switch-on. Picture: Gravesham CouncilLarge crowds gathered for the big switch-on. Picture: Gravesham Council

Around 600 children from 13 local schools got Gravesham's Greatest Christmas off to a spectacular start on the evening of Friday, November 22.

They were joined by members of the cast of this year's Woodville panto, Beauty and the Beast, and a host of street artists in a lantern parade that saw the town's Christmas lights illuminated.

Led by the Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Gurdip Ram Bungar and featuring a life-sized mobile elephant and polar bear, the parade started and finished in Community Square where the evening reached a climax with the lighting of the town's Christmas tree, which is sponsored by Hatten Wyatt.

The mayor said: "The imagination and artistic talent of our young people was evident in the beautiful array of lanterns in the parade.

Fake snow at the lights switch-on. Picture: Gravesham CouncilFake snow at the lights switch-on. Picture: Gravesham Council

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"The Christmas Light Parade is always a special evening, marking as it does the start of our festive celebrations, and this year saw a spectacular evening of celebrations."

Gurvinder Sandher, the artistic director of Cohesion Plus, said: "I am really proud of what we have been able to achieve this year in the borough working in partnership with Gravesham Borough Council. Christmas is a special time for everyone regardless of faith and what this event showcased is how the arts can bring communities together and why it is so important to have events like this, to celebrate what binds us rather than what divides us."

Schools taking part were Cecil Road Primary, Copperfield Academy, Holy Trinity Primary, Ifield School, Kings Farm Primary, Painters Ash Primary, Riverview Infant School, Riverview Junior School, St Botolph's Primary, St Georges Secondary, St John's Primary, St Joseph's and Westcourt Primary.

The event was staged by Gravesham Borough Council in partnership with Cohesion Plus and Kent Equality Cohesion Council, and supported by Arts Council England, Baron Edwards, and Hidsons - The JCB Group.

Santa took up residence in his grotto at Gravesend Borough Market. Entrance is free during opening between 10am and 2pm every Saturday and Sunday until Christmas.

Traditional Christmas markets are on November 30, December 7, and December 14, and again, entry is free.

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