Derry City and Strabane District Council’s magical winter wonderland theme will continue on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December with a special visit to Guildhall Square from ‘Bjorn the Bear’ – a playful, mischievous and huggable animatronic polar bear puppet who blinks, sniffs and makes real sounds – all within a sculpted inflatable ice environment to help him feel at home.
The special appearance this year from Bjorn the Bear is part of the Christmas ‘Winterland Market’ which includes food stalls, festive bar serving craft and artisan drinks, live music and children’s entertainment.
Bjorn will be joined in Guildhall Square by herder and Arctic conservationist Ursula – and spectators will be able to watch him perform in an informal, magical and interactive show – learning about the world’s largest land carnivore, their unique Arctic habitat and the danger they face from global warming.
During the shows children will learn how polar bears survive in the Arctic and have the opportunity to pat, stroke, or even tickle Bjorn the Bear!
Bjorn is provided by Los Kaos, a group of performers who pride themselves on pushing the boundary between reality and the imagination.
They said: “Bjorn was abandoned as a cub many years ago before he was discovered and befriended by Ursula – an Arctic conservationist.
"Now Bjorn and his companion travel the world making friends, sharing their story and telling people about the fascinating and vulnerable world of the Arctic.
“Bjorn is used to people – so if you’re lucky enough to meet him then you’re very welcome to give him a pat – that is, if you’re feeling brave enough!”
Jacqueline Whoriskey, Festival and Events Manager at Derry City and Strabane District Council says the smallest visitors, in particular, to the shows are sure to be captivated by Bjorn. She said: “We can’t wait to welcome Bjorn the Bear to Guildhall Square on his first ever visit to the city! This will be a truly unique and wonderful event for the Winterland Market and one that the whole family can enjoy.
“Indeed, I have heard that Bjorn is so realistic that children and shoppers alike will think he is the real thing!
“I therefore have no doubts that Bjorn will be the ‘star attraction’ for children visiting this year’s Winterland Market and that they’ll be totally enthralled by the shows!”
The special shows performed by Bjorn the Bear & Ursula in Guildhall Square will be at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December 2017.
For more information on the magical Winterland Market and other festive events taking place throughout the city and district visit www.derrystrabane.com/christmas