Autumn and winter events could be cancelled this year, including Kent fireworks displays, Santa’s grottos and pantomimes

Although we at the moment would possibly be having fun with among the balmiest temperatures of 2020, ideas are already turning to the events calendar main as much as Christmas – and whether or not there’ll be something left to sit up for.

Each yr because the chilly nights attract, households throughout Kent enjoyment of bonfire evening celebrations, pantomimes, and flailing round on ice rinks.

Queenborough's annual Christmas lantern parade. Picture: Phil Lee
Queenborough’s annual Christmas lantern parade. Picture: Phil Lee

But with the continuing coronavirus pandemic persevering with to change our lifestyle, what’s going to the usually-packed events calendar seem like this yr?

With social distancing measures remaining in place for the foreseeable future, issues usually are not wanting too wholesome for lots of the indoor events and large-scale gatherings related to the autumn and winter seasons.

And dad and mom who survived the previous few months because of largely good climate could be forgiven for viewing the approaching months with dread.


Originally an American custom, trick-or-treating has develop into a way more standard pastime within the UK over time.

Children throughout the county costume up as ghouls and monsters and knock on neighbours doorways, hoping to nab a deal with or two.

Under current guidelines trick-or-treating would not be possible. Picture: Chris Davey.
Under present tips trick-or-treating wouldn’t be doable. Picture: Chris Davey.

But underneath social distancing tips, it’s unlikely youngsters would be allowed to name on a number of households for sweets and chocolate that has handed via completely different individuals’s palms.

According to some studies, confectionary producers are already bracing for a discount in gross sales this Halloween.

Data perception firm Kantar reported £59.8m was spent on chocolate and sweets alone for Halloween 2019.

Pumpkin selecting

Families hoping to get out within the fields this autumn to hand-pick their spooky orange squashes are in luck.

Families will be able to pick the spooky orange squashes at Pumpkin Moon
Families will be capable of choose the spooky orange squashes at Pumpkin Moon

Pumpkin Moon, the favored pick-your-own venue, have confirmed that clients will be capable of return in 2020 as a result of the exercise is already suitably socially distanced.

The organisation has premises in Old Chatham Road, Sandling close to Maidstone, and in Lower Rainham Road, Rainham.

James Kemsley, farm supervisor, mentioned: “It’s all open-air, obviously outside as well, so I think we’ll be pretty much ready to go.”

Mr Kemsley not too long ago opened the Maze Moon in Rainham, designing three miles of tracks created out of planted maize, providing a problem for households trying to get an early repair of the Halloween season.

Fireworks evening

It is unclear whether fireworks displays will go ahead in 2020
It is unclear whether or not fireworks shows will go forward in 2020

With giant gatherings banned for the foreseeable future, it’s tough to envisage how a significant fireworks show would be capable of go forward.

Two organisers have already cancelled their shows for 2020.

The Sittingbourne Fireworks Spectacular on the Appleyard Sports Bar, in Gore Court Road, has confirmed their occasion won’t be going forward this yr.

And Edenbridge Bonfire Society, well-known for its large, topical effigies, has additionally introduced it won’t be going forward in 2020.
A spokesman mentioned: “It is with deep regret that we announce the cancellation of our bonfire parade and firework extravaganza for 2020. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you on 6th November 2021 bigger and better than ever!”

The organisers of the Quex Park show, in Birchington, are awaiting on affirmation from the council for his or her occasion to go forward.

A spokesperson mentioned: “We have submitted all our paperwork, including our Covid Secure assessments to the native authority and we await their choice as as to whether the occasion can proceed.

Kent Cricket annual fireworks display. Picture: Andy Jones
Kent Cricket annual fireworks show. Picture: Andy Jones

“As quickly as we get a response from them we are going to inform the general public, nonetheless ought to the native authority conform to the occasion they nonetheless have the ability to cancel it ought to there be a spike within the R fee.”

The show is scheduled for November 7.

Gravesend’s standard riverside fireworks alongside the ocean entrance could not return this November because of difficulties with adhering to social distancing tips at a mass gathering.

A spokesperson from Gravesham Borough Council mentioned an official dialog has not but been had, however that it seemed unlikely the occasion would be going forward

Medway Council has cancelled its fireworks show at Great Lines, Gillingham.

Santa’s Grotto

It looks unlikely that Santa grottoes will go ahead this year
It seems to be unlikely that Santa grottoes will go forward this yr

Meet-and-greets with Father Christmas are unlikely to go forward this yr because of social distancing tips.

Under present steering, youngsters wouldn’t be allowed to have a detailed up photograph, a hug and even be handed a present by Santa.

But some organisations are wanting into methods of nonetheless having the ability to provide Christmas actions for his or her clients.

Tammy Woodhouse, managing director of Millbrook backyard centre, with premises in Gravesend and Staplehurst, mentioned that whereas a Santa’s Grotto seems to be unlikely this yr, they’re wanting into completely different strategies of embracing the festive interval.

She mentioned: “Grottoes are going to be tough, I do not understand how we would be capable of do them, so I believe it is unlikely we’ll do our grotto.

Santas could be out of a job this year
Santas could be out of a job this yr

“But we’re taking a look at a lot of different choices, and we all know we have to make it particular for Christmas.

“We will be doing breakfast or afternoon tea with Santa, utilizing among the experiences we used to do within the grotto – we will maintain household teams collectively and separate from Santa.”

Winterland Margate

Last yr, Kent’s historic theme park placed on a festive extravaganza to have a good time the vacation season.

Visitors to Dreamland in Margate have been greeted with fairy mild walks, a market with festive meals and drink, crafts and free festive movie screenings.

Winterland Margate at Dreamland will not be going ahead this year
Winterland Margate at Dreamland won’t be going forward this yr

But the occasion won’t be going forward this yr.

A spokesperson advised KentOn-line there are at the moment no plans to function Winterland in 2020.

The theme park had hoped to have a good time its 100th anniversary with a bunch of events this yr, however most have needed to be cancelled as a result of ongoing pandemic.


The time-honoured Christmas custom is at menace this yr, as the humanities trade continues to grapple with organising indoor events that adhere to social distancing tips.

The Marlowe's Chris Wong, Ben Roddy and Lloyd Hollett in Mother Goose. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography
The Marlowe’s Chris Wong, Ben Roddy and Lloyd Hollett in Mother Goose. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography

Kent’s greatest pantomime has already been cancelled for the primary time ever amid the uncertainty.

The Marlowe Theatre, in Canterbury, has been compelled to postpone its manufacturing of Jack and the Beanstalk till 2021.

Marlowe chief government Deborah Shaw mentioned: “We’ve waited to make this choice so long as we could as a result of we all know how a lot our audiences love their yearly go to to see our pantomime.

“However, we’ve had to postpone due to the continued uncertainty around when we’ll be allowed to re-open the main house at full capacity.”

The Marlowe just isn’t the one theatre to cancel – the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells introduced its manufacturing of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would additionally not go forward till 2021.

Jack And The Beanstalk is coming to the Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks this Christmas
Jack And The Beanstalk is coming to the Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks this Christmas

But all just isn’t misplaced for avid pantomime households, as one theatre in Sevenoaks pronounces a Covid-safe present to happen later this yr.

The Stag theatre will be placing on the jokily titled Jack And The Two Metre Beanstalk, which can be carried out in entrance of a considerably diminished viewers because of coronavirus security precautions.

Empty seats in entrance, behind and to the edges of every household who attend imply the auditorium will solely maintain round one third of regular capability.

Ice rinks

Families who take pleasure in a spot of ice skating could be in luck, after one council gave the go forward for an out of doors ice rink this winter.

Ice skating can go ahead in Tunbridge Wells this winter
Ice skating can go forward in Tunbridge Wells this winter

Skating in Calverley Grounds has been accredited by Tunbridge Council Borough Council, after a security evaluation.

The attraction will function in accordance with the social distancing tips and laws in place on the time of opening.

Read extra: All the newest information from Kent

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