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Strabane set to sparkle in festive feast of entertainment for Christmas lights switch-ons

13 November 2019

A Christmas Market, live music, storytelling and children’s arts and crafts form part of an action packed day of entertainment planned to celebrate the turning on of Strabane’s Christmas lights on Saturday November 23rd 2019.

The celebrations will centre around Castle Street, Railway Road, the Alley Theatre and Abercorn Square where Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Michaela Boyle, will be joined by Santa Claus for the official switch on.

Mayor Boyle urged the public to get involved in the entertainment and activities: “The Strabane Christmas lights switch on is an event I’ve been looking forward to from the start of my Mayorality and it’s one of the biggest events of the year in my home town,” she said.

“There’s a feast of activities to enjoy for all the family including a Mrs Claus Story Telling Bus, amusements, balloon modelling, face painting and a number of special guest appearances.

“It’s always heart-warming to see the town centre lit up and decorated for Christmas for the first time and it’s a great way to start your festive experience.”

The Main Stage in Abercorn Square will be compered by Paul Mullen and feature guest appearances from local singers Shonagh Forbes, Carol-Ann and Lauren Mullen, Sarah Jane Murray from Knockavoe School (just take this out), and guest apperance  by Tyrone GAA All Star Cathal Mc Shane and singer Brendan Conway.

The cast of Bring It On the musical will also perform live on stage while there will be community showcases from Encore Dance Academy and Class Act Theatre School.

Santa and friends are scheduled to be on stage at 4.45pm for the official lights switch on.

In Castle Street from 2pm – 5pm the Mrs Claus Storytelling Bus invites families to come along and listen to Santa’s wide tell some wonderful Christmas stories while the Christmas Market will be open from 11am to 6pm.

There will also be street entertainment from 2pm – 5pm featuring street performers, face painters, fun characters, arts and crafts, games and amusements in the town centre.

In Railway Street you can visit Santa in his grotto from 1.30pm – 4pm with quiet time available from 1pm to 1.30pm and you can come and see Santa’s Reindeers from 2pm – 5pm.

At the Alley Theatre Santa’s Post Office will be open for business where you can write their letters to Santa, get them stamped by the elves with their North Pole seal of approval and post them in Santa’s magical post-box which sends the letter all the way to Lapland.

In the run up to Christmas the Alley Theatre will also host Santa’s Magical Forest where you can get in the festive spirit and take a magical journey through the Winter Wonderland featuring Santa’s elves and a presents from the man himself who will be loading his sleigh at the end.

Booking for the Magical Forest, which will take places on Thursday Friday, Saturday and Sunday up to 21st Dec 19 from 4pm – 8pm, is essential. Cost is £6 per person Family rates are available, contact Alley Theatre for more details on Tel 71 384444.

The Strabane Christmas Lights switch on marks the start of a packed Council Christmas programme that includes The Guildhall Craft and Artisan Food Fair, the Mayor’s Christmas events in Strabane and Derry and the Winterland Markets in the city centre.

The Derry switch on has been scheduled for Sunday November 24th.

The full list of Christmas lights switch-ons around the District are: Ardstraw Saturday December 7th 6.30pm, Artigarvan Monday December 2nd 6.30pm, Aughabrack Sunday December 15th 7pm, Ballymagorry, Monday December 9th 7.30pm, Bready Friday November 29th 6.00pm, Castlederg Thursday November 28th 7.00pm, Clady Friday December 6th 8.00pm, Cranagh Saturday November 30th 8.00pm, Donemana Wednesday December 4th 6.30pm, Douglas Bridge Friday November 29th 7.00pm, Glebe Thursday December 5th 6.00pm, Glenmornan Sunday December 8th 5.00pm, Killen Friday December 6th 5pm, Killeter Saturday December 7th 7.30pm, Magheramason Monday December 2nd 7.00pm, Newtownstewart Thursday 5th December 6.30pm, Plumbridge Monday December 2nd 7.30pm, Sion Mills Tuesday December 3rd 7pm, Strabane Saturday November 23rd 5pm, Victoria Bridge Saturday November 30th 6.30pm.

Full details of the packed Christmas programme for Derry and Strabane are available at www.derrystrabane.com/christmas.