Countdown to Derry’s Christmas Lights Switch On begins

Santa flys over the crowd with the help of the Fire and Rescue Service during a previous Christmas Lights Switch on in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 17.11.16
Santa flys over the crowd with the help of the Fire and Rescue Service during a previous Christmas Lights Switch on in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 17.11.16

Finalised details of Derry’s Big Christmas Lights Switch On event later this week have now been released.

The celebrations will take place this Thursday, November 23, when Santa and his special guests switch on the Christmas Lights, marking the start of the city’s festive programme of events.

Thousands of local children and adults are expected to join the Mayor, Santa and special guests for an evening of live music and entertainment in Guildhall Square from 6pm to 8pm.

The Christmas Lights are expected to be switched on at around 7.15pm and the public are encouraged to get there early as large crowds are anticipated.

There will be no pedestrian access to Guildhall Square via Shipquay Place from 5pm and those wishing to attend the event are advised to access Guildhall Square via Custom House Street or Waterloo Place.

An allocated accessible viewing area will be available in front of the main stage in Guildhall Square.

For people and children with limited mobility, accessibility to the event will be available via Guildhall Street while car parking for blue badge holders is available in all city centre car parks.

An information point / lost and found children point will be located at the new Visit Derry office (the Old Ulster Bank) adjacent to Magazine Gate.

Translink are also making preparations ahead of Thursday night’s big switch on.

A spokesperson said: “We expect a very busy evening for the Christmas Lights Switch On and we will run double-deck buses where possible for maximum capacity.”

Encouraging the public to come along to what is one of the Council’s most popular family friendly events, Mayor Maolíosa McHugh said the Christmas Lights Switch On is a great opportunity to start off the festive celebrations and to experience the magic of the Christmas campaign that is being organised by Council.

Other up and coming events taking place over the festive period include the Sound of Light Procession, the Mayor’s Christmas Tea Dance, the Winterland market, the Wonder Windows Trail and the Mayor’s ‘Lost in Frost’ initiative.

Keep up to date with Christmas news and upcoming entertainment & events by visiting www.derrystrabane.com/christmas or following Facebook ‘What’s On Derry Strabane’ for competitions & exclusive festive deals.