Derry City & Strabane - Magical activities and events for a Merry Derry Christmas




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Magical activities and events for a Merry Derry Christmas

06 November 2017

With our superb Hallowe’en festivities over for another year, Derry City and Strabane District Council is already on track to deliver a magical festive celebration across Derry and Strabane featuring a Winterland market, a Wonder Windows Trail and the Sound of Light Christmas procession, that will bring music, colour and animation to the city streets.

Announcing details of the 2017 Christmas programme, the Mayor Cllr Maolíosa McHugh outlined the fantastic array of events, retail offerings and weekend breaks that will have Christmas all wrapped up for visitors and residents alike.

He said: “The Christmas campaign that has been put together by the Council is truly magical with something for everyone to enjoy and be part of. We will have the wonderful Guildhall Craft Fair, Christmas Light Switch On in both Derry and Strabane, the Sound of Light Christmas Procession, the Winterland Market and an enchanting Wonder Windows Trail.

“One of the many highlights for me as Mayor will be my Christmas Tea Dance and my own Mayoral initiative Lost in Frost that is aimed at families across the city and district with two weekends of fantastic festive dance, storytelling and animation at the Echo Echo dance studios in Derry and the Alley Theatre in Strabane.”

The Mayor added that a key part of the Christmas campaign is working in close partnership with local retailers and businesses to promote the city and district’s unique retailing offering by promoting our fantastic mix of independent and big brand shops.

He added: “It’s about making our festive experience a special one not only for those who will come to spend the weekend in Derry but for the local residents who can take advantage of the large number of fantastic restaurants and cafes that are here to help make your overall Christmas experience a special one.”

Among the key events taking place in the run up to Christmas in Derry and Strabane are the Guildhall Craft Fair, featuring over 40 top quality craft producers on Friday 10 – Sunday 12 November);  The Christmas Switch On (Derry) on Thursday 23 November from 6-8pm;  The Christmas Switch On (Strabane) on Saturday 25 November from 2pm – 5.30p. The Sound of Light and Christmas Procession will take place on Friday 01 and Saturday 02 December from 6-7pm; while the Strabane Christmas Fayre, will take place on Sunday 03 December from 1-6pm.

The Wonder Windows Trail is expected to be big hit with families and shoppers when some city centre windows will come alive with animation on Saturday 09, Sunday 10, Saturday 16, Sunday 17, Friday 22 and Saturday 23 December from 5.30-7.30pm. As part of the Mayor’s initiative, the Mayor will host the Lost in Frost Christmas event in partnership with Echo Echo and the Alley Theatre Strabane, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December while the Winterland Market will bring the city centre to life with unique Christmas stalls and some craft beers and craft gin. The market will run from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 December and will also feature  Bjorn the Bear, a life-sized majestic polar creature, that is bound to get the children into the festive cheer.

Encouraging people to come out and support the Christmas events and to 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.

She said: “Our Christmas campaign in Derry and Strabane is all about the magical festive experience we can offer people who visit here in the run up to Christmas. 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 and our fantastic events calendar. We are working very closely with our partners in Visit Derry to promote some fantastic accommodation offers from £40 pps that encourages couples and families to come to Derry and Strabane for a fantastic festive experience. Not only can they be part of our many events that have been scheduled in the weeks running up to Christmas but they can avail of the really good retail offering from both our small independent traders to our larger multi-national stores while at the same time soak up the warm Derry welcome and festive atmosphere in our restaurants, cafes and bars.”

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