Derry City FC and the Apprentice Boys are among the local organisations who have thrown their support behind Derry’s bid to secure a festive World Record.
Local families are being urged to don their Christmas jumpers on Sunday, December 18 to help surpass the record set by Kansas in 2015, when 3,473 people made it into Guinness Book of Records.
Organisers say they hope Derry’s pullover power will help the city add to the previous records set by local Santas, Brides, Irish Dancers and Annies, raising money and awareness for Muscular Dystrophy UK, Foyle Hospice, Children in Crossfire and Concern in the process.
Cathryn Gibson, Regional Development Manager for Muscular Dystrophy UK said the event had attracted genuine cross community support.
“Both Bishop Donal McKeown and Bishop Ken Good pulled on their Christmas jumpers a couple of weeks ago to help launch the event and encourage others to get involved. Since then, many organisations, including the Apprentice Boys of Derry, Derry City FC and local GAA clubs and community groups have volunteered to help out as stewards on the day.”
To register in advance for the Christmas Jumpers World Record Attempt, go to: www.foylehospice.com or call into the Foyle Hospice shop in Waterloo Place or the Concern shop in Ferryquay St. The registration fee is £10 for adults, £5 concessionary and £25 for family registration.
The four charities will all be equal beneficiaries from the event.
On Sunday December 18, record breakers are asked to assemble in Waterloo Place from 12 noon wearing their Christmas jumpers. At 12.30 pm, they will be directed towards Magazine Gate to be counted. From there, they will walk up Magazine Street, onto the Walls and hopefully into the Guinness Book of Records.
JR McLaughlin, Head of Fundraising at Children in Crossfire, is confident the event will help put out a positive message about the city.
“The Walled City was a fantastic backdrop for the 10,001 Santas event in 2007 and media images of the hugely successful event were beamed around the world. We want to replicate the success of that event when over 13,000 people wearing Santa suits turned up.”
He continued: “This family friendly fundraiser is taking place just a week before Christmas so there’s going to be a fantastic atmosphere in the city centre. The Christmas market will be in full swing in Guildhall Square and there’ll be plenty going on with buskers, dancers and local choirs all on song to keep everyone entertained during the countdown to the count.”
To take part in the record attempt, all you have to do is register and then turn up on the day wearing a Christmas jumper.
If you’re not already the proud owner of a Christmas jumper, there’s plenty of time to get organised. Both tasteful and tacky Christmas jumpers are still available in local shops. Alternatively, you could always upgrade a plain jumper or sweatshirt with your own festive decorations and inject a bit of humour into the Christmas countdown.
The Inner City Trust plans to run Christmas Jumper workshops in the Craft Village this weekend so anyone stuck for ideas can pick up some fashion tips on how to transform that plain sweater into a garish Christmas jumper to wear with pride on December 18.
Don’t forget, if you an embarrassment of riches in terms of Christmas jumpers, drop spare jumpers off at a local charity shop and someone will be happy to pick up a bargain priced and highly sought after fashion accessory.
The Big Jumper (pictured) which was designed by Margaret Crabtree of Keep Her Knit and created wiith the help of Galliagh Sit, Knit and Chat group. It will be on display in Austin’s window in The Diamond later this week.