Kid alert! Santa’s post box opens for business

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Good boys and girls from across Derry have been advised that Santa’s post box is now open for wish lists.

Children across the city and district are being encouraged by the Mayor to get writing now so they can get their special letters posted via Santa’s Post Box at Guildhall Square directly to the North Pole.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Elisha McCallion said the Post Box was set up at the request of Santa himself following his visit to the city last week when he switched on the Christmas lights.

“When Santa was here last week he told me how much he loves to hear from the children of Derry and Strabane and the big effort they make not to ask for too much, leaving room for a few surprises in their Christmas stockings,” she said.

“He also spoke about how the children write him such lovely messages and encouraged them to make sure that their names and addresses are clearly written in the letters so that he makes sure the presents arrive at the right house.”

The Santa’s Post Box in Guildhall Square is now open and parents are reminded that children should post their letter no later than December 18 to be sure to receive a response from Santa.

The Mayor also encouraged families to come out this weekend to be part of the Council’s Sound of Light Festival trail which will bring some magical festive celebration to the city centre this Friday and Saturday, 27 and 28 November.

The Sound of Light festival will begin with a magical procession which will make its way through the city centre from 6pm on Friday evening featuring a whole host of colourful Christmas characters brought to life by production company LUXE.

The trail will weave through the streets leaving from Bishop Street carpark, making its way through the Cathedral Quarter, then via Pump Street and Ferryquay Street and down through the city centre until it reaches the Guildhall Square, before finally stopping at Union Hall Place.

The Guildhall Square will also host a special festive market throughout the weekend, from Friday to Monday. On Saturday evening a special light trail along the Walls will begin at St Columb’s Cathedral, running from 5pm – 9pm.

At the Cathedral Grounds the illuminating theme will be ‘Reflection’ and visitors can look back over 2015 and contemplate their hopes for the future. Inside the Cathedral enjoy a beautiful organ recital by candlelight.

From here follow the trail through Bishop Street, Magazine Street, Guildhall Square, the Peace garden, the East Wall and finish in Pump Street when you will have experienced a wondrous series of performances and spectacles.

There is something for everyone on the Sound of Light trail with a number of performances and shows also be taking place throughout the weekend, with screenings of Derry’s own favourite animation Puffins Rock for the little ones in the Garden of Reflection and a series of live musical performances at various venues.

The Memorial Hall will host the much anticipated Roy Arbuckle production ‘The Fountain – the Musical’ charting the fascinating history of the area.

Meanwhile Best Boy Grip and Declan McLaughlin will feature at St Augustine’s Church at 6.30pm on Saturday, while some of the fresh new Sync talent will be performing in Cafe Nervosa, as well as choirs and musicians scattered throughout the city. There is also an opportunity to join the sound of light cycle leaving from Waterloo Place.

Other events up and coming in Derry and Strabane in the run up to Christmas include Festive Markets at Guildhall Square from 27-29 November, the Craft Village 10-12 and 18-20 December and Bishop’s Gate, 19 December, festive weekend activities at the Craft Village throughout December and a Christmas Tea Dance on 02 December at the Guildhall, as well as the Mayor’s Christmas Welcome of family friendly activities and choral performances over the weekend of 19 and 20 December.

For more information on festive events and activities over Christmas in Derry and Strabane visit