Snow-ho-ho as Santa swoops into Guildhall Square for Christmas switch on

Santa pictured with Shane, Connie and Megan McGrinder and Davy, Sam and Alison Graham after he switched the Christmas lights. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. INLS 48-702-CON
Santa pictured with Shane, Connie and Megan McGrinder and Davy, Sam and Alison Graham after he switched the Christmas lights. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. INLS 48-702-CON

Thousands donned their winter woollies to greet Santa as he swooped into Guildhall Square on Thursday evening, bringing an extra touch of magic to the Christmas lights switch on.

The first sprinklings of snow were felt adding some frosty festive sparkle to the official start of the city’s festive season.

Santa flies over the crowd with the help of the Fire and Rescue Service during the Christmas lights switch on in Guildhall Square. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. INLS 48-703-CON

Santa flies over the crowd with the help of the Fire and Rescue Service during the Christmas lights switch on in Guildhall Square. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. INLS 48-703-CON

This year sees a packed programme of Christmas cheer with events taking place across Londonderry and Strabane throughout November and December.

Families packed both Guildhall Square and Waterloo Place for the build-up of live music and entertainment before Santa made his dramatic entrance by fire brigade, after teasing the crowds by appearing at windows around the square.

Aeidin McCarter, head of Culture with Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: “It was fantastic to see so many families turning out to this evening’s switch on event, despite the inclement conditions.

“We look forward now over the coming weeks to unveiling some exciting new highlights in our Christmas programme. This is such an important time for local businesses and it’s great to be able to bring more people into our city and town centres to enjoy the cultural and commercial delights which we have to offer.”

For more information on all the events taking place in the Christmas programme go to www.derrystrabane.com/christmas<http://www.derrystrabane.com/christmas>