TOWN bosses have vowed Herne Bay will be the talk of the area for the right reasons this Christmas.
Last year, the town centre tree was dubbed the worst in the country and critics panned the “boring” lights display.
This year, several groups have been working on an impressive lights display, with 40 solar-powered trees on lampposts from Sea Street to the High Street, lights over the High Street, William Street and Mortimer Street and a tree with 2,000 lights.
But the cathedral city of Canterbury will be left in the dark. Council bosses scrapped funding and no groups came forward to organise the lights.
Whitstable's lights have been ordered by the Chamber of Commerce, who are also planning late-night shopping evenings with festive entertainment.
Herne Bay Lib Dem Ron Flaherty said: “I want to say a big thank you to the Christmas lights group.
“On paper it seems they have done a fantastic job. I also want to say a big thank you to Mark Quinn, of Quinn Estates, for sponsoring them.
“It is not an insignificant figure he is putting in.
“Canterbury has got sod-all Christmas lights. Everyone town across the country is in preparation for putting up lights but here we have the centre of Christianity and no lights.
“I think it is going to be embarrassing to the city and the council.”
The Herne Bay display, part funded by a grant from former Kent County Councillor Jean Law, plus £8,000 from Quinn Estates, will be switched on during a street party and showcase in the town centre on Saturday, December 7.
The fun starts at 10.30am in William Street and Mortimer Street, with local businesses bringing their shops onto the street, promotions, competitions and Christmas fun.
There will be a stage in Mortimer Street with live music, including a Michael Buble tribute, along with two other performance areas for children’s entertainers and carol singers.
The lights will be switched on at 4.30pm by The Grinch and there will be free parking throughout the town all day.
The lights group includes members from the BayPromoTeam, Town Partners, Herne Bay in Bloom and Beach Creative, while The Activity Box will be contributing tree decorations painted by children and businesses.
Other festive fun includes a German Christmas market at the pier, entertainment and fun in the town, Herne Bay Carnival’s Winter Wonderland on Saturday, December 14 and the annual Christmas window competition for the traders.