THE Derry Christmas Lights switch on, the traditional start of the city’s Christmas celebrations, will feature a host of festive music and popular pantomime characters when it takes place in the city centre on Thursday November 22nd from 6pm – 8pm.
The annual event that attracts thousands of people to the city centre will feature two stages with BBC Radio Foyle’s Mark Patterson hosting in Guildhall Square and local entertainer Michael Doherty performing MC duties in Waterloo Place.
Musical performers in Guildhall Square will include George Hutton and Paul Casey, and the St Oliver Plunket Primary School Choir while Superstition will perform in Waterloo Place
The entertainment will also include characters from the Millenium Forum and Waterside Theatre’s pantomimes and the whole event will be broadcast by local Youtube sensation Adam B – a young man with a worldwide online following of over 1.5 million people.
Santa Claus is scheduled to appear on both stages and will perform the official switch on along with Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, who encouraged the public to get involved in the night’s entertainment.
“The Derry Christmas lights switch on is a night packed with entertainment for all the family and an ideal way to start the festive season,” he said.
“It’s always an exciting night to see the city lit up and ready for Christmas for the first time and Council’s maintenance and electrical teams are currently hard at work installing the city’s network of illuminations for the big night.
“The event marks the start of a packed schedule of events across the City and District for Christmas 2018 that includes a Grand Christmas Procession through the city centre and the return of the popular Strabane Christmas Fayre”
Family themed entertainment will be hosted in the Peace Garden from 4pm – 6pm where youngsters can come and visit the Enchanted Garden and meet Santa’s Sleigh and Reindeers, get their face painted and meet some Christmas themed characters.
Foyle Street Bus Depot will also be hosting arts and crafts where children can create a decorative bauble to hang on the Christmas tree and there will be Reindeer food available in bags to take home.
The city lights switch on is just one of the highlights in Derry City and Strabane District Council’s exciting programme of festive events for 2018.
The popular Christmas Winterland Markets in Guildhall Square will also make a welcome return from Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th December with a bar serving craft and artisan drinks, live music, kids entertainment and festive animation.
Mayor Boyle will host his own Christmas initiative when he invites youngsters to step into the majestic wonderland of Santa’s Christmas Workshop in the Guildhall with story-telling, Christmas crafts and an appearance from the man himself, Father Christmas.
For full details and updates from Derry City and Strabane District Council’s family-friendly Christmas programme please visit www.derrystrabane.com/christmas.