Mayor launches extensive programme of Christmas events

A Grand Christmas Procession through the city centre and the return of the popular Strabane Fayre and Guildhall Craft Fair are just some of the highlights in Derry City and Strabane District Council’s exciting programme of festive events for 2018.

The programme was launched this week and begins with Christmas light switch-ons throughout the City and District including the city’s in Guildhall Square and Waterloo Place on Thursday November 22nd and Strabane switch-on Saturday November 24th.

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 of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John 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.

Mayor Boyle said the programme will allow local people to celebrate Christmas in style and will also play a key role in attracting visitors to the City and District during the festive season.

“With excitement already building for Christmas I am delighted that we are able to offer a varied and exciting festive programme to allow local families and visitors to celebrate the 2018 holiday season,” he said.
“I would like to congratulate the Festival and Events team at Council for developing a majestic programme of music, colour and animation.

“I am particularly excited about my own initiatives, the Christmas Tea Dances on December 5th and 18th and Santa’s Circus Workshop in the Guildhall where I will invite families to transport themselves into a winter wonderland on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December.”
A new element to this year’s programme is the nightly Box Wonders performance from In Your Space from Thursday November 13th to Sunday December 16th when model toys will come to life from present boxes with a burst of colour light and sound when the Guildhall clock strikes 6 each night.
The Grand Christmas Procession by LUXE at 6pm on December 15th is back after being particularly well received last year
and will depart from the Christmas Markets in Guildhall Square and meander through the City Centre.

On Sunday December 16th a Mini Walkabout Procession in Waterloo Place and Guildhall Square from 4pm – 6pm will see King Wenceslas on stilts and six golden geece thrill the crowds of seasonal shoppers.
Encouraging people to come out and support the Christmas events and shop local, Aeidin McCarter, Head of Culture with Derry City and Strabane District Council said the Christmas campaign is a great opportunity to showcase what the City and District has to offer in terms of family entertainment and great shopping experience
“We want to make our festive experience a special one not only for those who will come to spend the weekend in Derry and Strabane but for local residents.
Whether you are here for a weekend break or a one day shopping trip, we have something to offer you in terms of our retail offering, our wide range of bars and restaurants and our fantastic events calendar.
“We are working very closely with our partners in Visit Derry to promote some fantastic accommodation offers that encourage couples and families to come to Derry and Strabane for a fantastic festive experience.”

For more detailed information and updates on Derry City and Strabane District Council’s family-friendly Christmas programme please visit

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