DERRY’S Winterland Markets will return to the city centre this weekend with stalls, music and a bar planned for the event.
The markets on Guildhall Square will open on Thursday afternoon, December 13, at 12 noon and remain in place through until Sunday evening, December 16.
Derry City and Strabane District Council said the forthcoming festivities, which Christmas Procession performances this weekend, will be the peak of its Christmas programme of events.
The Winterland Markets will consist of artisan traders offer local people and visitors a family friendly shopping experience with a wide selection of speciality Christmas foods and handcrafted products.
Opening hours are 12 noon to 10pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 12 noon to 6pm on Sunday.
The Markets will also feature the return of a family friendly bar serving the best of craft beers on draft, mulled wine and spirits all sourced from local produce.
On Saturday December 15 LUXE will be bringing the Grand Christmas Procession, where a magical festive convoy will meander through the city streets before arriving in Guildhall Square.
Saturday’s Christmas 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 through Guildhall Square.
The street performance action continues on Sunday with the Mini Walkabout Procession featuring characters from songs and carols including King Wenceslas and six golden geese a-laying in Guildhall Square and surrounding streets.
Festival and Events Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council, 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.”
Santa will be in attendance all weekend at the Winterland 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.
Full details of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Christmas programme is available at www.derrystrabane.com/christmas where a full list of the market traders, the Grand Christmas Procession Route and the festive film schedule is available.