Annual and special events

Annual events

There are many different types of public events that enhance community life and take place in the borough each year.

On this page you can find out about annual events in the borough, with links to further information. To see a list of all events coming up please search or browse our events directory. 

Annual events


Half Marathon (April)
The Kingston Half Marathon starts and finishes at the YMCA Hawker Centre, running through the streets of Kingston and back along the Thames tow path.

Kingston University final year shows (May to June)
Every year Kingston University undergraduate and postgraduate students get to showcase their work at shows held in Kingston and at various events around London.

Create in Kingston (May)
Create in Kingston is an annual event jam-packed with fun and entertainment. Children's activities, street entertainment, a diverse menu of music and dance, markets and creative workshops add up to a great day out in Kingston for the whole in family. Create in Kingston is organised in partnership with Kingstonfirst.

Whole Foods Market Breakfast Run (March)
This event offers the choice between distances of 8.2 or 16.2 miles which makes the event ideal for runners of any ability. The course runs along the banks of the Thames, past Hampton Court Palace, over Hampton Court Bridge and finishes in Kingston.


Ignition Dance Festival (June)
The dance festival promotes the work of emerging choreographers and celebrates the work of local dance organisations operating in the borough and the surrounding area.

Dragon Boat Challenge (July)
In July each year, Kingston is home to its own Dragon Boat Challenge, organised by Kingston Rotary Club with teams from across the country competing in this unique event, with drums, shouting and colourful boats it is an impressive event to watch.

Kingston Korean Festival
The annual Korean Festival combines performances, exhibitions and food to help introduce and promote the Korean culture, arts and foods to the residents and visitors of the borough.

International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) (July)
During IYAF, music, art, drama and dance events take place across the borough in galleries, theatres, the Museum and outdoors. IYAF is created and produced by young people, giving them opportunities not only as performers but as event managers, producers, creators and innovators. IYAF encourages applications led by young people.

Malden Fortnight (July)
The annual Malden Fortnight Festival hosts a range of fun and cultural events organised by the local community. Highlights include a grand parade, fun days, craft fairs and a big band night.

Regatta and River Festival (July)
Kingston’s Regatta has been a fixture in Kingston’s sporting calendar for over 150 years and brings together schools and clubs to compete in 300 rowing races. The Kingston River Festival runs alongside the Regatta and highlights Kingston’s rich maritime heritage.

Food Festival (August)
Organised by Kingtsonfirst, Kingston Food Festival includes activities across Kingston showcasing local restaurateurs, exciting hot foods, great local drinks and a host of growers and producers from across Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, alongside gourmet and international cuisines.

RideLondon (August)
RideLondon is a global charity fundraising event. Organised by the Mayor of London and his agencies, it is a key part of the London 2012 Games Legacy Programme. As a host borough, Kingston is playing its part to help to make the event a success.



Carnival (September)
Kingston Carnival is an annual grand carnival procession, with dancing, live music, stalls and food. The carnival is organised by Kingston Race and Equalities Council.

Comedy Festival
The four day Kingston Comedy Festival takes place each autumn in venues across Kingston.

Garmin Kingston Run Challenge (October)
This festival of running has something for absolutely everyone - from children and beginners through to experienced runners and marathon veterans. The centre Kingston is closed to traffic as thousands of runners and spectators come together to celebrate getting fit and being active in the great outdoors.

Remembrance Day (November)
We have four Remembrance Day services in the borough each year which the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, councillors, senior officers and other key civic dignitaries attend. Service take place in Chessington, Kingston, New Malden and Surbiton. Details of services are announced near to the time each year. 

Surbiton Festival (September)
The week-long Surbiton Festival, which began life in 1992, takes place from each September. Many local traders, community groups and residents get involved and it attracts lots of visitors from outside.


Christmas lights switch-onThere are a several Christmas lights switch-on events in town centres across the borough each year. Details about each event are available during the lead up to Christmas.