Winterland Markets open in Derry ahead of weekend of festivities

The Hasson family, dad Sean, Sean Og, aged 1 year, mum Dearbhla and two-year-old Rionach pictured with Santa at the Winterland Market yesterday afternoon in Guildhall Square. DER5018GS022
The Hasson family, dad Sean, Sean Og, aged 1 year, mum Dearbhla and two-year-old Rionach pictured with Santa at the Winterland Market yesterday afternoon in Guildhall Square. DER5018GS022

Derry’s Winterland Markets reopened in the city centre yesterday ahead of a festive Christmas Procession due to take place through the streets tomorrow.

The markets on Guildhall Square will remain in place through until Sunday evening, December 16.

The annual Winterland Market opened yesterday afternoon in Guildhall Square. DER5018GS024

The annual Winterland Market opened yesterday afternoon in Guildhall Square. DER5018GS024

Opening hours are 12 noon to 10pm both today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday), and 12 noon to 6pm on Sunday.

Santa will be in attendance all weekend at the Markets, where he will pose for photos and hand out sweets to children, while the popular petting Kidz Farm will also be there for the duration.

The markets feature the return of a family friendly bar serving craft beers, mulled wine and spirits, all sourced locally, with live music.

Tomorrow, Saturday December 15, LUXE will be bringing the Grand Christmas Procession to the city. This will involve a magical festive convoy meandering through the city streets before arriving in Guildhall Square.

The Procession departs from Bishop’s Street Car Park at 6pm and will make its way down Bishop Street, looping the Diamond, down Shipquay Street, over Castle Street, up Magazine Street, through Butcher Gate, down Waterloo Street, through Waterloo Place and Guildhall Square.

The street performances continue on Sunday with the Mini Walkabout Procession featuring characters from songs and carols like King Wenceslas and six golden geese a-laying in Guildhall Square and nearby streets.

The local Council’s Festival and Events Officer Andrea Campbell said excitement is building for one of the busiest weekends of the year in the city centre.

“The Guildhall Square and surrounding streets will be a hive of activity this weekend with the return of two of our most popular Christmas initiatives, the Winterland Markets and the Christmas Processions by LUXE,” she said. “The Markets are a must for anyone visiting the city this weekend with entertainment for all the family and stallholders offering unique gift ideas and the best of local produce.

“We are delighted that our family friendly Craft Beer bar will be returning with nightly live music while our cinema screen will be broadcasting family favourites including Home Alone, Santa Claus the Movie and Elf.

“The Grand Christmas Procession is a captivating experience for families, it will begin on Saturday at Bishop Street car park and weave it’s way through the city centre with a host of enchanting festive characters including Santa on a bike and King Wenceslas on stilts.”

For more details on the Christmas programme check out: www.derrystrabane.com/christmas.