Open invite to Derry’s festive celebrations

Alex Hillen and 9-months-old Jade McCauley pictured with the Mayor of Derry and Strabane Colr Elisha McCallion at the senior citizens Christmas lunch in the Shantallow Community Centre on Thursday last.  DER5015GS050
Alex Hillen and 9-months-old Jade McCauley pictured with the Mayor of Derry and Strabane Colr Elisha McCallion at the senior citizens Christmas lunch in the Shantallow Community Centre on Thursday last. DER5015GS050
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It will definitely begin to look a lot like Christmas in Derry this weekend as a range of festive events are staged in and around the city centre.

Mayor of Derry & Strabane Elisha McCallion will this weekend host the centre-piece of Derry’s festivities- a special, free two-day festive welcome event for local people.

The Mayor’s Christmas Welcome will take place on Saturday and Sunday, and will include a series of performances and activities inside the Guildhall, and Santa himself in attendance inside a story telling igloo.

Among the musical groups taking part in the concerts are the Colmcille Ladies Choir, the Encore Contemporary Choir, Doire Calgach Singers, the Pink Ladies Choir and the Long Tower Folk Group.

The Guildhall will also host storytellers from the North Pole, and there will be Christmas crafts and refreshments.

Mayor McCallion, said: “I’ve been invited to share in so many Christmas events across the district in the last number of weeks and I am delighted to be able to return the invitation to our citizens this weekend with my own festive celebration.”

The events will take place from 1pm to 6pm on each of the two days, and are open to all.

On Sunday morning meanwhile, Cornerstone Church will hold a special Christmas Service at 10.30am in the Guildhall, with live music, a children’s choir, and mulled punch and mince pies served afterwards.

There will also be two festive markets taking place in the city centre this weekend.

A Christmas Market will open on Friday and Saturday at the Craft Village from 12pm to 4pm, with face-painting and storytelling for children from 2pm to 4pm. A second Peace Walls Market will open at Bishop’s Gate over three days from Friday to Sunday, with entertainment for all ages.