Christmas light switch-on events for Thanet

Brian Whitehead

The first of the isle’s Christmas light switch-ons takes place this Friday with reality TV celebs and great local acts including Hotsy Totsy.

Here is our round-up of switch-on events across Thanet.

Westwood Cross

Friday 17 November, from 4pm to 6.30pm outside Primark

X Factor girl band Lemonade and Marcel and Gabby from Love Island are among the guests who will be heading up the Westwood Cross Christmas light switch on.

Crowds will also be entertained by cast members of the Theatre Royal panto, The Wizard of Oz, and kmfm. Entertainment starts at 4pm and the lights will be switched on at 6pm.

There will also be music  from Hotsy Totsy, pop-rock covers band Exit Strategy, the winner of the Summer Party’s Little Stars talent show, Kelsie Bissett and a Father Christmas parade.


November 21

High Street, 6pm to 8.30pm

Christmas light switch-on and late night shopping


Sunday, November 26, noon-5pm

There will be the usual festive fun with the Human Snow Globe returning after popular demand creating fabulous photo opportunities along with the land train which has been enjoyed by all the family for many years. 

There will be cartoon characters along with the carnival queens popping up throughout the afternoon along with plenty of live entertainment from midday at the stage (outside the Red Lion pub) and lots more including a Christmas carousel for the little ones, children’s stalls and the wonderful handmade craft fair.

Santa will be in his grotto waiting for the children in the Arts in Ramsgate Centre at 18 Harbour Street and  Pietro Bottone will be on hand creating facepainting masterpieces!

Whilst you are at the arts centre, why not make a lantern so you can join in the mini parade at 4.15pm ready for the big switch on?  If you don’t get a chance to make a lantern you can buy one on the day or see the flyer for workshop dates beforehand, just pop along to 18 Harbour Street.  Festive food will be available from several cafes which will be open throughout the event for your enjoyment.

The pantomime crew will be on hand with the mayor to switch the Christmas lights on at 4.30pm and the event will close at 5pm.


Pierremont Pak, December 2, 11.30am to 6pm

Broadstairs and St Peter’s Chamber of Commerce annual Christmas market and Lights switch-on which has become an established date in the festive calendar of Broadstairs.

Christmas themed stalls, Christmas food and drink, Father Christmas in his magical grotto, Christmas music provided by local choirs and the turning on of the Christmas lights at 5pm.


December 3, Station Road, 11am to 5pm

Bigger and better than last year with 70 stalls in the Christmas Market, 2 stages filled with entertainment and fun fair to kick off the festive season. Lights will be switched on at approximately 4.30pm. Entry is Free.

Plus little elf fancy dress competition on stage 1 at 3pm.

Ramsgate Harbour

December 1-31

The berth holders in the Royal Harbour are busy decorating their vessels in the period leading up to Christmas.

Come and see this wonderful spectacle of boats and local businesses lit up for the festive season. The light up event on December 1 will include live music from Hotsy Totsy from 6pm.

Sponsored by: Ramsgate Town Council, Ramsgate Town Team and Thanet District Council.

St Pauls Church, Northdown Road, Cliftonville

7 December, 4.45pm – 6.30pm

Cliftonville Partnership present their Christmas ‘Switch On’

  • 5pm  – Arrival of the Mayor of Margate, Cllr Rosamund Dixon and her consort, Geoffrey Dixon and 438 (Thanet) Squadron ATC Band (performing outside St Paul’s Church)
  • 5.10pm onwards – Free tea/coffee and mince pies available (supplied by St Paul’s Church volunteers and Tesco plc)
  • 5pm-6.30pm – Balloon modelling and magic by the fantastic Spinning Top Children’s Entertainment (one free balloon per child in attendance)
  • 5,05pm-5.15pm – Special personal appearance of children’s favourite Simple Simon
  • 5.15pm-5.25pm – Special guest appearance from cast members of this year’s Theatre Royal Margate’s pantomime “The Wizard of Oz” by Wicked and Captiv8 Productions
  • 5.30pm-5.35pm – 438 (Thanet) Squadron ATC Band with countdown by Gordon Clarkson, followed by switch on of the festive tree lights by Cllr Rosamund Dixon
  • 5.40pm-6pm – Holy Trinity & St John’s COE Primary School Choir with Susan Blyth
  • 6.10pm approx – Outside St Paul’s Church for community carol singing accompanied by the 438 (Thanet) Squadron ATC Band (sheets will be provided)

Frosted Fairground at Dreamland

December 2

December 2 will be the official opening of The Frosted Fairground at Dreamland.

See the amusement park covered with thousands of twinkling lights, enjoy festive food and drink, vintage rides, live music, a real ice rink and Father Christmas’ grotto. The amusement park will be open noon-9pm, buy ride wristbands in advance online to save here

Find out what’s on offer at the Frosted Fairground here

Turner Contemporary, Margate

December 2-3. Saturday, 10am – 6pm and Sunday, 10am – 5pm

Market with 25 designers and makers showing their work at Turner Contemporary, including jewellery, ceramics, soft furnishings and accessories. It will be the perfect opportunity to pick up some Christmas presents.

Turner Contemporary will also be switching on the Christmas lights at 6pm, with Santa flicking the switch, on Saturday, December 2. Join them for the festive fun and a mince pie,hot chocolate and mulled wine.

.Christmas opening times:

Open as normal from 10am – 5pm throughout December apart from the following:

The gallery will be closed on 24th, 25th and 26th December.

Open as normal on 27th December, 10am – 5pm.

Closing early on 31st December at 4pm.

Back open as normal on January 1st, 10am – 5pm.

More info about opening times and events at


Christmas event on December 16 to include Thanet Big Sing Community Choir, Rhythm Express, Santa’s Grotto, live music from Andy Mack and Birchington Silver Band and candlelight carols.

There will also be mulled wine, mince pies, a barbecue, childrens’ entertainers, TK Arts Circus School and LA Dance Academy.

Margate Old Town

Saturday, December 2, 4.30pm light switch on by Mayor of Margate Rosamund Dixon attended by Margate Charter Trustees.There will be a snow machine and Old Town traders will be providing hot chilli and jacket potatoes.

The mayor’s office has been working closely with Young’s Nursery (tree supplier) and Saunders Electrical in preparation for the event.