A stunning ‘Sound of Light’ procession will weave its way through Derry’s city centre this weekend.
A smaller procession will lead off from 6pm this Friday, December 1, before a larger parade spectacle at 6pm on Saturday 2.
A highlight of the festive celebrations in the city, the magical trail will feature colourful Christmas characters brought to life by production company LUXe, with choirs performing at a number of key locations in the city centre.
The ‘Sound of Light’ procession this year is led by ‘the Keeper of the Forest’, the stick carrying woodsman / King Wenceslas character and his Six Golden Geese, who will weave around the city bringing light and sound to each of the city’s seven gates.
The procession, which heralds the advent of Christmas, will include fairy tale images, a Giant Snowflake, the Snow Queen and her entourage of Snow Angels.
There will be a Sugar Plum fairy hanging from a bauble and a Snowman surrounded by a snow storm of light. It will also include the Nutcracker Prince, a flying Fairground Horse and a troupe of Dancing Christmas Stars.
As the procession winds its way through the city a choir singing carols, seasonal songs and accompanied by ten families carrying special Christmas lanterns will greet the procession at each of the city gates in turn – Bishop’s, London, Ferryquay, Butcher, Castle, Magazine and Shipquay – with a seasonal blessing of light and song.
In the Diamond, which will be filled with Illuminated Winter Palace sculptures and Giant Festive Candelabras, the Inishowen Gospel Choir and fairy tale procession will come together in celebratory performance.
Again on the Guildhall steps, surrounded by Giant illuminated candle sculptures, the gospel choir will greet the fairy tale procession for a finale of sound, light and song – blessing the city and the advent of Christmas.
The ‘Sound of Light’ procession will leave from Bishop Street car park at 6pm on Friday and Saturday, making its way through the Cathedral Quarter, then via Pump Street and Ferryquay Street down through the city centre to Waterloo Street, before finishing up in Guildhall Square.
The Friday procession will be a smaller special preview trail taking the same route through the town to prepare for Saturday’s Seasonal Spectacle.
Join the procession at any or all of the gates, the Diamond or Guildhall Square to welcome the spirit of Christmas into the city.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Colr Maolíosa McHugh said: “Now in its third year, the spectacular ‘Sound of Light’ procession is something very special and a highlight of our Christmas celebrations.
“As the procession makes its way through the trail areas, sound and light will illuminate some of the most recognisable landmarks in the city centre and add a touch of magic to old buildings and streets.
“The procession will include light installations, music, projection and performances – including by fantastic choirs.
“I would therefore encourage everyone to follow this visually stunning trail through the historic quarters of the old city – and join in what will be a truly magical illuminated experience!”
Festivals and Events Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council Jacqueline Whoriskey added: “This is an extraordinary and enchanting Christmas spectacle where larger than life characters alight upon the city centre – illuminating the dark winter streets of our city.
“Indeed, for two years now, the City Walls have provided a stunning backdrop for the ‘Sound of Light’ procession and is the perfect setting for residents and visitors alike to enjoy our unique heritage and one of the finest examples of a Walled City in Europe.
“This is a truly amazing event which has captured the public’s imagination – as well as importantly showing off our special and distinctive built heritage to an international audience.”
Keep up to date with Christmas news and upcoming entertainment & events including the ‘Sound of Light’ trail by visiting www.derrystrabane.com/christmas or following Facebook ‘What’s On Derry Strabane’ for competitions & exclusive festive deals.