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Christmas is back in all its glory as Mayor launches festive programme

16 November 2022

A Winter Wonderland Procession to turn on Derry and Strabane’s Christmas lights and the Mayor’s Family Fun events in the Alley Theatre and the Guildhall are just some of the highlights of Council’s yuletide schedule for 2022.

The comprehensive programme sees the welcome return of a number of festive favourites following the lifting of Covid restrictions including the Guildhall Craft Fair and the Mayor’s Christmas Tea Dance.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy, officially launched the programme at the Guildhall this week where she encouraged the public to access it online and plan their experience.

“The excitement ahead of this Christmas is palpable and I am delighted to see the return of the full programme in all its glory,” she said.

“I am particularly pleased that we have retained the Wonderland Processions through Strabane and the city centre following the success of last year’s event and I can’t wait to meet the public at the various events planned for throughout the District.

“My Christmas initiative in Strabane and Derry will feature festive crafts, storytelling and hopefully an appearance from Santa Claus himself so look out for booking information for that.”

The programme begins with the Guildhall Craft Fair on Friday November 25th until Sunday November 27th which is also the weekend of the Christmas lights switch-ons in Strabane on the Saturday and Derry on the Sunday.

The Guildhall's Main Hall will provide an ornate backdrop for the Craft Fair where a wide range of contemporary and traditional craft stalls will feature craft design makers and artisan food producers from across Ireland.

The Winterland Processions to switch on the lights in Strabane and Derry will be led by the Mayor and Santa Claus who will be followed by a range of festive characters and bespoke Christmas themed mobile installations.

The Walled City Market on Saturday December 3rd will take place under the tallest Christmas tree in Ireland in Guildhall Square and will be followed by the full Winterland Market from Friday December 16th to Sunday December 18th with a wide range food, drinks, local gifts and live music.

The Mayor’s own Christmas initiative will be hosted in Strabane’s Alley Theatre on Sunday December 4th and the Guildhall from Friday December 9th – 11th when she invites youngsters to step into the majestic wonderland of Santa’s Christmas Workshop with story-telling, Christmas crafts and an appearance from the man himself, Father Christmas.

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, added:

“We want to make Christmas in Derry and Strabane a special one not only for those who will come to spend the weekend in our City and District but for local residents.

“Whether you are here for a weekend break or a one day shopping trip we have entertainment and events each weekend in the run up to Christmas to add to your festive experience.

“Our Craft Fair and Markets in Guildhall Square aim to showcase the best of our local crafters and allow local people to source unique gifts while supporting the local economy.”

For more detailed information and updates on Derry City and Strabane District Council’s family-friendly Christmas programme please visit www.derrystrabane.com/christmas

Tickets for the Mayor's experience are free and will be available to book online at the end of November.

Plan your Derry Strabane Christmas experience by accessing the full programme at derrystrabane.com/Christmas.

You can support and follow Council's support local campaign using the hashtags #ChristmasDS and #GiftLocal on social media.