Derry & Strabane Christmas 2019 switch on and festival details confirmed

One young fan gets a pefect spot to watch the arrival of Santa during a previous Christmas Lights Switch on in Derry in Guildhall Square in 2017. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.
One young fan gets a pefect spot to watch the arrival of Santa during a previous Christmas Lights Switch on in Derry in Guildhall Square in 2017. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.

Details of this year's Christmas Switch on and celebrations have been released by Derry City & Strabane District Council.

The Council’s Business & Culture Committee was told on Tuesday that Christmas programming will begin on November 22 and continue through to December 17, with weekend activities the key focus. A marketing campaign will target a border audience “with particular attention on the favourable Euro-to-Pound exchange rate”.

Highlights will include the Guildhall Craft Fair from November 22 to 24. On the same weekend the Christmas Lights switch on will take place in Strabane on Saturday, November 23, and in Derry on Sunday November 24 at Guildhall Square.

The Strabane Christmas Fayre will be held on December 1, while Derry’s Walled City Market gets under way on December 7. The Mayor’s Christmas programme also takes place on December 7 and 8, with other community based festive events coming back. The Christmas markets and festive animations take place from December 12 to 15. There will be a bar serving craft/ artisan drinks, live music, kids entertainment. The Mayors Guildhall Christmas tea dance on December 17.

The existing Christmas brand will be maintained and developed to incorporate tactical ‘buzz’ style messages such as ‘ Have yourself a Derry little Christmas’, ‘Derry Christmas Everyone’, ‘I’m dreaming of a Strabane Christmas’ and ‘All I want for Christmas in Strabane’.

‘Londonderry’ is to be incorporated into some of the marketing Derry City & Strabane District for Christmas, following a request from a DUP Alderman.

Ald Hilary McClintock made the request during discussions on what the Council was planning for the festive season this year.

Ald McClintock said that she would like to see ‘maybe All I want for Christmas in Londonderry’ to be inclusive of all sections of the community.” Some other councillors said they did not have an issue with this.