Christmas festivities in Derry get under way

A few frosty characters at the Guildhall.
A few frosty characters at the Guildhall.

A Winter Windows Wonderland at Austin’s Department Store and other locations, will form part of Derry’s Christmas Programme over the coming weeks.

During weekends throughout December, various city centre locations, including Austin’s, will showcase mystical displays of robotic elves and carol singers.

Following the Big Christmas Lights Switch On this week, festivities will continue next weekend, November 25 and 26, with the Sound of Light Trail and Christmas Procession. Billed as the highlight of this year’s programme, the Sound of Light trail will wind its way through the city centre. The event will include light installations, music, projections and performance along the city walls, on outdoor spaces and inside cultural venues.

Leading on from this, other highlights from this year’s programme include the Hans Christian Anderson Tale Trail on Friday December 2 and Sunday December 4 in the city centre.

Tales such as the ‘Little Matchstick Girl’ and the ‘Tin soldiers’ will be brought to life three times per day trough storytelling, dance, music, visual art projects and circus acts. Locations will include the Cottage in the Craft Village, the Garden of Reflection on Pump Street, St Augustine’s Church and Echo Echo Dance Studio on the City Walls.

On Thursday December 7, the Mayor’s Christmas Choral Gathering will start with carols and festive tunes at the Guildhall and perform at each of the City Gates before returning to the Guildhall for the finale.

An Elfwood Forest will be erected at the Mayor’s Christmas Grotto in the Guildhall on December 9, 10, 16 and 17 with Santa in attendance to meet local children.

There will be a Christmas Market at Bishop’s Gate on Friday and Saturday December 9 and 10, and the Walled City Market at Guildhall Square from December 16 to 23.

Another highlight will be the Christmas Jumper World Record Attempt on Sunday December 18 at 11.30am.