Despite the cold and bitter winds, thousands of visitors headed to the town centre on Saturday 21st November to soak up the Christmas atmosphere and enjoy a whole day of festive activities.

Visitors were treated to a packed programme of events in the heart of the town, including appearances from Peppa Pig, a Christmas market organised by Emporia Fabric & Craft, Father Christmas’ grotto and a programme of music put on by Revelation St Mary’s.

The town twinkled under Christmas lights which swept over the High Street, Park Mall and the bandstand.

Lots of excited youngsters flocked to see Peppa Pig and George as they made personal appearances in County Square and the High Street. Many children had the chance to meet their favourite characters and also have a picture taken with them.

Even more festive fun was found in Park Mall as Unit 23 was transformed into Santa’s grotto. The space was adorned with glistening Christmas trees and snowy surroundings to make Father Christmas feel right at home. Crowds of families visited the grotto throughout the day and children were excited to meet Father Christmas and receive a present.

Mister Maker (Phil Gallagher) and Eastenders actor, Rita Simons were in County Square meeting greeting fans. Both actors were dressed in their costume for the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs pantomime, which is now playing at the Marlow Theatre in Canterbury.

This year’s Child of Courage, Cody Steward, was a special guest on the day. Cody is six years-old and is a patient on Padua Ward at the William Harvey Hospital. He was nominated by the hospital staff to be their Child of Courage and to take part in the Festive Family Fun Day. Cody was delighted to meet Peppa Pig, Mister Maker and Father Christmas before receiving a Minions themed present.

The overall day was a great success for the town and many businesses saw increased footfall and boosted trade throughout the day.

Find out what events are coming up in Ashford over Christmas by checking out our loveashford calendar.

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