Popular children’s animation rescue dogs Paw Patrol are among an action packed line up for the big switch on of the Christmas lights on Thursday November 17th.
The event is one of the highlights of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Christmas programme and will feature live music on stages in Guildhall Square and Waterloo Place, pantomime figures, live reindeer and the main man himself Santa Claus.
Santa will arrive by fire engine to switch on the lights before flying back to the North Pole with his reindeers and sleigh.
The reindeers will spend the afternoon in the Peace Garden on Foyle Street where youngsters can visit them between 3pm and 6pm.
Looking ahead to the switch on, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, encouraged local people to come out and enjoy what is always a “special night”.
“This is Santa’s busiest time of the year so we are delighted that he has been able to make time to visit the City and District where he always gets a warm and enthusiastic welcome at Guildhall Square,” she said.
“It is always a special night when we see the lights switched on for the first time and it starts to feel like Christmas has officially begun.
“There is a great range of entertainment for all the family on offer as well as some very special live guests so it promises to be another night to remember.”
The music and animation in the Guildhall Square and Waterloo Place will be from 6pm until 8pm with the lights being switched on at 7.15pm.
The night will be compered by BBC Radio Foyle’s Mark Patterson with Sensation leading the music in Guildhall Square and the Hitmen headlining in Waterloo Place.
While there are no plans to close roads for the switch on, large crowds are expected on the night and some streets are expected to be highly congested for the duration of the event.
The streets most likely to be impacted on Thursday evening are Shipquay Street, Foyle Street and the Strand Road between Sackville Street and William Street.
Council will be working in close partnership with the police and local businesses to minimise any disruption, but it is advised that there may be some disruption during the evening.
With many families, particularly young children, expected to attend motorists are asked to be particularly careful when driving within the vicinity of the event in the city centre.
The Christmas Lights switch on is part of Council’s ambitious ‘Light up your Christmas’ programme.
Among the other major events in the packed schedule is Fashion Fest 2016, showcasing the best of Irish fashion and design for three days, the Mayor’s Christmas Grotto and a Christmas Jumper world record attempt.
A range of musical events will also take place, climaxing in the Mayor’s Christmas Choral Gathering in the City Centre on December 22nd.
For more information on Council’s Christmas programme visit www.derrystrabane.com/christmas.